Recently NYLCV and the NYC Clean School Bus Coalition held a virtual roundtable discussion in conjunction with NYCSBUS to speak about the importance of school bus electrification in New York City, especially within environmental justice neighborhoods and disadvantaged communities.
NYCSBUS, who is leading the charge on school bus electrification in NYC by aiming to have a fully electric fleet by 2030, is a new independent, city-associated, non-profit that will take over Reliant Bus Company, and will operate roughly ten percent of the city’s school buses. The Mayor pledged to purchase 75 electric buses for NYCSBUS over the next two years, and the numbers in his 10-year capital plan reflect funding to fully electrify the fleet by 2030. Due to this commitment and the recent passage of Intro 455, a NYC Council bill that mandates total school bus electrification by 2035, the Coalition is focused on helping bus operators electrify their fleets while prioritizing running electric school buses in the communities who need them the most.
Panelists included coalition members, Carlos Castell Croke and Caroline Hahn from NYLCV, Jenny Veloz from New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Lonnie Portis from WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Amanda Haught who is a parent advocate and parent of an asthmatic child, and Dr. Marina Reznik from The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore.
Panelists spoke about the unique opportunity NYCSBUS has to be the first school bus operator to have a fully electric fleet in NYC. An interactive map was then presented of school bus depots across the city and panelists spoke about the disproportionate number of depots located in and around potential environmental justice areas, compared to non-environmental justice areas. Panelists also spoke about the impact of diesel exhaust on human health, personal testimonials with diesel exhaust and childhood asthma, and the coalition’s priorities for the next 5 years.
As the Coalition continues its work in the electric school bus space post-passage of intro 455, they will continue to support and advocate for the equitable distribution of electric school buses across the city, and will continue to educate and engage New Yorkers on their work. The Coalition looks forward to working with NYCSBUS as they electrify their fleet!
Stay up to date with the NYC Clean School Bus Coalition by checking out nycschoolbus.org.