El Monte Union High School District received 11 all electric 2021 Gem Polaris eM 1400 LSV utility maintenance carts on Wednesday, June 23 as a part of the District’s participation in the Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project, thanks to the $9.8 million grant awarded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Up until Wednesday, the District mostly had gas-powered utility maintenance carts in its inventory – the John Deere Gators. Each school has approximately two Gators utilized by the maintenance staff for lawn and field maintenance.

Mountain View High School Plant Manager Danny Herrera is an El Monte High School graduate and has worked at the District for roughly 35 years. Herrera actually alerted the District to a utility maintenance cart deficit. Herrera would walk to destinations, allowing his colleagues to take his own cart, due to a utility cart shortage.

“The new utility carts are going to make a huge difference,” Herrera said. “We take care of the campus, we support our teachers so that they can support the students, and in order for us to do that requires moving heavy boxes, equipment, fixing things quickly across 20 acres of campus, so we are excited and thankful to the District for getting us the equipment we need.”

The purpose of the new carts are not only to fill a deficit, but will also improve efficiency and reduce reliance on gasoline use as a part of the the Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project, a green initiative that promotes the use of zero-emission vehicles and clean transportation options for students, parents and staff, made possible by a $9.8 million grant awarded to the District by CARB.

Mike Gazmen, Territory Manager for Papé Material Handling, said that his company specializes in providing all electric utility vehicles to school districts, colleges and businesses across the country.

“Papé Material Handling is happy to work with the El Monte High School District and help them replace older gas model vehicles with new electric models, which will reduce their carbon footprint by reducing the number of gas units on their campuses,” Gazmen said.

The active transportation plan also aims to improve school transportation safety and air quality through the acquisition of 10 electric school buses, three electric motor pool vehicles, five energy storage systems as well as charging hardware to support electric vehicles.

“The District is committed to not only supporting our staff by providing them with the equipment and vehicles they need to do their job, but also to renewing our clean energy commitment as we do so, and these all electric Polaris carts are going to do both,” Facilities & Energy Manager Lena Luna said. “We thank our partners for their contributions to help make the acquisition of these carts possible and we look forward to putting them to good use for our staff and students.”

For more information regarding the School Mobility & Active Transportation Plan, please visit https://emuhsdmobility.com.