NEW YORK (WWTI) – Governor Kathy Hochul announced the New York State Electric School Bus Roadmap and The Electric School Bus Guidebook to help New York schools transition to zero-emission bus fleets.

“As New York State continues to lead the way in the fight against climate change, we must address the ways that fossil-fuel powered transportation directly affects our families and communities with emissions from school buses at the top of that list,” 

Governor Kathy Hochul

These new resources provide school districts and bus operators with the technical and financial assistance necessary to remove fossil fuel vehicles from service and help reduce transportation emissions with a focus on disadvantaged communities and high-need school districts.

The announcement supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050. It also supports New York State’s requirements that:

  • All new school buses sold in New York State be zero-emission by 2027; and
  • All school buses on the road be zero-emission by 2035.

“Providing the tools for school districts to swap out diesel and gas school buses with zero-emission bus fleets will help students and their communities across the state breathe cleaner air and enjoy a healthier way of life.”

Governor Kathy Hochul

The New York State Electric School Bus Roadmap outlines costs, challenges and proposed recommendations that New York State and Key partners can implement. It also covers vehicle choice, procurement and fleet planning options that will accelerate zero-emission school bus adoption.

Highlights of the roadmap include:

  • Electric school buses currently on the market can be affordable and attainable for schools when available state and federal incentive programs are utilized, making the cost comparable to, or lower than, a diesel or gasoline bus;
  • Electric school buses can meet the bus route needs of most schools; and
  • Low-cost Level 2 electric vehicle chargers provide sufficient power for electric school buses through overnight charging.

The roadmap will be updated every three years to reflect market conditions of zero-emission school buses.

Additionally, The Electric School Bus Guidebook provides information and resources for school districts and bus operators to help them become more familiar with key terms and processes for transitioning to zero-emission school bus fleets. The guidebook will continue to update as new information becomes available to receive these updates, sign up on NYSERDA’s Electric School Bus web page.  

Zero-emission buses include both battery electric buses and hydrogen fuel cell buses which are expected to be available for purchase in New York State eventually. Both types of buses eliminate diesel and gasoline fumes that can drift into and then linger within buses – negatively impacting air quality and child health.

The long-term health benefits of clean transportation have been well documented:

  • The American Lung Association in New York has noted that moving the State’s entire vehicle fleet to clean transportation would result in up to 159,000 avoided asthma attacks while generating $68.2 billion in public health benefits statewide; and
  • New York State’s more than $1 billion investment in electrifying transportation is vital to delivering air quality improvements to underserved communities and supports New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals.

New York State continues to make funding and resources available to help support the cost of transitioning to clean fleets. Funding for clean school buses is also available through the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program and under the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022.

The Bond Act makes $500 million available under the Public School Bus Electrification Program to help school bus fleets in transitioning their buses and depots to accommodate zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure more information on the Bond Act is available Here.