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amNY (Opinion): New York poised to lead the ‘charge’ on electric school buses

Posted by Leah Meredith on Mar 29, 2022

amNY published Leah Meredith's op-ed on the budget provisions need to accelerate electric school bus adoption in New York. Read snippets below and the full article here.

With more than 45,000 traditional school buses on the road, New York has the largest school bus fleet in the country. That makes the Empire State the perfect candidate to make the jump from diesel to emissions-free school buses. Earlier this year, Governor Kathy Hochul committed to fully electrifying New York’s school buses by 2035. Now, with the state budget due April 1, New York is poised to become the first state in the nation to deliver the resources schools need to provide 100 percent clean rides for kids. 

Access to immediate funding for school bus deployment is one of the most important measures lawmakers can offer school districts, and the Senate and Assembly have each offered their own budget proposals to make New York’s 2035 target a reality. It’s imperative that New York’s operating budget set aside dollars to help purchase these buses and the charging infrastructure schools will need to support them...

While both houses of the legislature support school bus electrification, it is the Senate’s budget plan that provides school districts with the best path forward. The Senate proposes $1 billion for school and transit bus electrification through an expanded environmental bond act that will go before voters in November. The bond act also allocates at least 40 percent of the funds to disadvantaged communities. This equity-focused funding is critical for getting students of all economic backgrounds into cleaner school buses and giving all school districts a fair shot at affordably achieving the 2035 goal...

New York still has a long road ahead to guarantee all school children can access clean transportation by 2035, but Governor Hochul’s announcement has already sent the critical signal to the advanced energy industry that New York remains on the cutting edge of an increasingly competitive vehicle electrification market. Backed by the state budget, New York can solidify its leadership in the electric transportation transition by putting its schoolchildren first. 

Read the full article here.

Topics: State Policy, AEE In The News, Leah Meredith