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Nation's First Hybrid School Buses in Florida

March 19, 2007 By

Governor Charlie Crist rode on the nation's first active plug-in hybrid electric school bus in the Manatee County School District. The school district purchased two buses, which are projected to reduce by 50 to 90 percent carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change.

Along with the initiation of the new hybrid buses, the school district launched a child safety campaign, "Safe to School: All Eyes on Child Safety," to increase awareness within the community about the safety of students making their way to and from school.

"The future of our children depends on their safety and the protection of Florida's natural environment," said Governor Crist. "Today, the Manatee County School District is taking steps to ensure both."

The safety campaign is being introduced following the February 23 kidnapping of 13-year-old Clay Moore while he was waiting for a school bus. He escaped from his captor later the same day and helped law enforcement officers capture the suspect in the case.

"Clay Moore is a courageous young man who kept his cool in a very traumatic situation," said Crist. "His quick thinking and creative problem-solving skills helped him escape and survive to return to his family and friends."

The purchase of the two buses was made possible by Advanced Energy, a non-profit corporation that initiated a buyer's consortium of school districts, state energy agencies and student transportation providers.

"We cannot afford to ignore that carbon emissions are contributing to global climate change that may put Florida's residents and 1,200 miles of coastline at risk. I commend the Manatee School District for taking bold action toward reducing those emissions."

Governor Crist rode on the bus from the intersection where Clay was abducted at Old Tampa Road and Douglas Hills Place, to Virgil Mills Elementary School for a ceremony announcing the school safety campaign and honoring Clay.

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