New York's climate goals are extending to buses, as school districts and municipalities slowly integrate new electric vehicles. 

This is impacting those who use the bus to get around. 

The Zero Emission Bus Resource Alliance (ZEBRA) is made up of 74 transit agencies in the United States and Canada. They discussed the latest in zero-emission technology for buses at a recent meeting in Rochester.

Roland Cordero is the chairman of ZEBRA and represents southern California. He’s introducing the idea of powering buses with hydrogen fuel cells. 

“Hydrogen is the new tech we’re getting into," said Cordero. "A bus with hydrogen gas takes few minutes to charge versus hours to charge a battery-powered fleet."

The Regional Transit Service in Rochester started using battery-powered electric buses in 2020. Tom Brede with RTS says one of the biggest challenges with them is their limited range. 

“When the bus is going along a route, the doors open and close all day to keep the bus warm," Brede said. "It’s draining the battery faster and less milage the bus can go on a charge."

Hydrogen buses have a range of 300 miles on a charge as opposed to around 200 miles for an electric bus.

The ideas discussed during the recent roundtable discussion are changing the way people, not just in Rochester, but across the country, get around.