UniteGPS – New York State is approaching a new era for school transportation with its historic electric school bus legislation.

New York makes progress with electric school bus legislation

In case you missed it, Governor Kathy Hochul’s administration reached an agreement with lawmakers to include electric school bus implementation within the annual State Budget. According to a press release from April 7, 2022, Hochul’s team worked with lawmakers to allocate $220 billion to achieve this public health effort.

Thanks to this budget agreement, New York State will set a new precedent for electric school bus adoption across the country. 

The legislation stems from Governor Hochul’s past proposals for each new school bus purchase to be zero-emissions by 2027, and eventually, an entirely electric school bus fleet by 2035 as reported back in January. At the core of this effort is to improve air quality for New York State’s children, aligned with Climate Act goals. 

Response to New York’s electric school bus legislation 

With its own Electric School Bus Initiative, non-profit organizations like the World Resources Institute applaud the initiative for its health benefits. As far as environmental impact goes, sources say that a complete electric school bus fleet in New York City alone would equate to 650,000 fewer vehicles out on the road releasing carbon dioxide. 

“Two million students in New York ride the bus to school,”  tweeted Ani Dasgupta, CEO and President of World Resources Institute. “Electrifying New York’s diesel school buses is a historic win for the climate and New York residents, especially for young people from underserved communities, who too often bear the impact of pollution.”

Included April’s press release, senior manager for State Policy for Transportation Electrification at World Resources Institute Justin Balik also said, “New York’s 2023 state budget marks the beginning of a new era for the iconic yellow school bus – one in which children are no longer forced to inhale toxic diesel exhaust and instead breathe clean air on electric buses.”

“This plan makes New York the first state in the country to commit to fully electrifying its school bus fleet and sets a clear benchmark for other states looking to protect kids’ health.”

Another major news outlet covering this story is Electrek, saying that every US state ought to be strategizing about electric school bus conversion. Like them, UniteGPS plans to release updates about New York’s campaign to replace diesel-powered buses. Whether they get tossed or transformed, we look forward to finding out more.