The Garretson School District welcomes three new electric school buses, leading the way to a clean, cost effective future.

For Immediate Release

Garretson, SD –  September 26th – The Garretson School District is pleased to announce a significant step in a more sustainable and eco-friendly future with the arrival of three brand-new electric school busses on Friday, September 29th.  

Switching from traditional diesel school buses to electric buses not only benefits our environment, but also presents substantial cost savings for the Garretson School District.  The District is proud to acknowledge the Federal Government’s Clean School Bus Program, which provided funding for the purchase of the buses and installation of charging infrastructure.  This program provided $3.6 million dollars to six districts across the state, including the Hansen School District – 1 bus, the DeSmet School District – 1 bus, the Lower Brule School District – 1 bus, the Viborg-Hurley School District – 2 buses, the Sioux Valley School District – 2 buses and the Garretson School District, with funding for three buses.  

Electric school buses offer a number of advantages over their diesel counterparts, including:

  • Cost savings:  Electric buses are more energy efficient and have lower maintenance costs compared to diesel buses.  The reduction in fuel and maintenance costs will results in significant long term costs savings for the district, allowing us to re-allocate those resources to other areas of need within the district.  
  • Safety and comfort:  Electric buses are much quieter, offering a more peaceful and comfortable ride for students.  The buses also feature advanced safety features, ensuring a safe and comfortable ride for everyone.  
  • Environmental benefits:  Electric buses produce zero tailpipe emissions, reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.  Contributing to cleaner air in the student drop off / pick zone for our students, and generally for the community.  

Join us on Friday, September 29th at the Garretson Bus Garage, 700 Nordstrom Ave., Garretson SD as we accept delivery of our new buses and begin this new chapter in transportation for the district.  Delivery is scheduled for 9:00 AM.  

For more information about the Garretson School District’s electric bus transition, please contact Superintendent Guy Johnson at

New Turf and Track – Coming Soon!

The folks from Mammoth Sports Construction weren’t kidding when they said they wanted to “hit the ground running” on the turf and track project. They started this morning, shortly after 8:00, and wasted no time! As of 4:00 this afternoon, they had the turf removed from the north 20 yards of the field and they were also working in peeling up the old track surface around the SE end of the track. It’s a fascinating process!

Skid steer rolling up old turf
4-17-23 turf removal
turf removal
4-17 turf removal
track surface
track surface removal 4-17-2013

Garretson Proceeding With Electric Busses

Earlier in the year, we were pleased to announce that the Garretson School District was selected for a $1.2 million grant to purchase up to three electric school busses and the purchase and install charging infrastructure for those vehicles.  A number of people have asked why we would proceed with the electric busses, and expressed skepticism about whether this is a good thing for our district.  

We have spent a significant amount of time over the course of the school year talking with experts, reading about different options and just generally learning about electric vehicles to determine if we should proceed with just part of the grant award or to move forward with the full grant.  

Over the course of the past year, we have found that in districts that use the electric busses, there is significant savings in not only fuel costs, but also in maintenance costs associated with running diesel busses.  Some studies indicate that the cost of fuel and maintenance on a diesel bus runs close to 49 cents per mile, while the electric busses have a fuel and maintenance cost of approximately 14 cents per mile.  Comparisons of electric equivalent “miles per gallon” also tell a positive story, with our average diesel bus getting between 5 and 6 miles per gallon.  The estimated electric equivalent “miles per gallon” costs point to approximately 28 MPG.  While this is likely the MPG under “ideal” conditions, we are certain that the cost of operation and maintenance on our fleet with be dramatically reduced, thereby having a positive impact on our General Fund.  

Right now, we are considering whether to move forward with two electric busses or three.  The answer to that will depend, in part, on some of the ancillary costs associated with purchase and installation of charging infrastructure as well as changes to property and liability insurance costs.  Our intent is to present this information to the board on April 10.  The board will then make a decision as to how we proceed.  We are excited to be on the front end of the electric vehicle revolution in SD.  It’s even better when the Federal Government, rather than local taxpayers are footing the bill!