The state of New York has allocated a substantial sum of $100 million to support the adoption of zero-emission school buses, as part of its broader clean energy efforts. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has now unveiled the criteria for manufacturers and dealers to participate in this incentive program, with applications set to be accepted starting November 29th.
This initiative marks the initial funding round stemming from the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022. As revealed in an official state press release, a total of $500 million has been designated for zero-emission school buses and associated infrastructure, falling under the New York School Bus Incentive Program (NYSBIP), a component of the aforementioned Bond Act.
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of NYSERDA, emphasizes the significance of this Environmental Bond Act funding, stating, “The Environmental Bond Act funding creates a pivotal opportunity that brings zero-emission school buses to the forefront of New York State's clean energy and climate future.”
The move towards zero-emission school buses is seen as pivotal in addressing environmental concerns and promoting cleaner transportation options for students. Betty A. Rosa, Commissioner of the New York State Education Department, highlights the importance of additional resources to facilitate these crucial investments in school communities.
New York has set ambitious targets in its commitment to sustainability, mandating that all new school buses sold must be zero-emission by 2027. Furthermore, the state aims to have its entire school bus fleet transitioned to zero-emission vehicles by 2035.
In a related development earlier this week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the commencement of construction on 53 electric bus charging stations at Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) depots in New York City. This infrastructure expansion aligns with MTA's comprehensive plan to shift its 5,800-bus fleet entirely to zero-emission vehicles by 2040. The installations are expected to be finalized by mid-2024, aligning with New York's objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing air quality in urban areas.
Additionally, the state is actively exploring the integration of electric vehicles into its electricity grid. The governor's office has issued an invitation for projects that focus on the development and demonstration of innovative solutions that can be replicated and applied to further enhance New York's clean energy landscape.