New York will make $100 million available for zero-emission public school buses as fleets transition to zero-emission vehicles, as required by the state's 2019 Climate Act, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office announced Thursday.

This is the first round of funding available for these buses under the $4.2 billion Environmental Bond Act that New York voters approved in 2022. There is a total of $500 million of Environmental Bond Act money available.

School districts will be prohibited from purchasing additional buses that burn diesel starting in 2027 and all school buses on the road must be zero-emission by 2035.

"The commitment of public funds and guidance released today puts New York State schools and bus operators on a trajectory to embrace clean transportation and the benefits that it will bring,” Hochul said in a statement Thursday. “Zero-emission buses will become a hallmark, not only transporting students through our communities, but also demonstrating the promise and possibility of a healthier, environmentally friendly, low-carbon future for our youngest citizens.” 

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority recently released a roadmap this month which outlines costs, procurement measures, fleet planning options and much more to assist school districts with the monumental task of transitioning to all electric school buses. 

About 50 electric school buses operate in New York out of the state's total fleet of 45,000 buses. A new diesel school bus costs around $130,000, the executive director of the state Association for Pupil Transportation recently told Spectrum News 1, while each electric school bus costs more than $400,000. 


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