Boston School Bus Operator Settles Clean Air Act Lawsuit

Transdev Services to pay $925,000

Photo: Shutterstock

October 26, 2020 (BOSTON, MA) – Transdev Services will be required to put an end to dangerous bus idling in area neighborhoods after settling a Clean Air Act lawsuit brought by Conservation Law Foundation (CLF). Transdev provides transportation for the Boston Public Schools, and buses were observed idling excessively in lots around the city. Idling vehicles emit pollutants, predominantly carbon dioxide and particulate matter, that cause global climate change and harm public health.

“This settlement is a major win for cleaner air in Boston communities,” said Heather Govern, Director of CLF’s Clean Air and Water program. “Toxic tailpipe pollution threatens the health of our most vulnerable neighbors and contributes to the climate crisis. With increased training and monitoring at bus lots, Transdev will be better able to stop excessive bus idling and the spread of this harmful pollution.”

As part of the settlement, Transdev will be required to contribute $800,000 to nonprofits working on reducing air pollution and improving air quality for individuals living and working near Boston Public School bus yards.

Every state in New England limits the amount of time a diesel vehicle can legally idle; the limit in Massachusetts is five minutes. Transdev-operated buses were observed on numerous occasions idling over the limit and for upwards of 30 minutes in lots in Charlestown, Dorchester, and Roxbury.

Vehicle exhaust exposure has been linked to lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Researchers at MIT have estimated that vehicle exhaust is responsible for around 58,000 premature deaths each year nationwide, and 23 to 46 of every one million children could develop cancer from the exhaust they inhale just traveling on school buses.

CLF experts are available for further comment.