NYLCV has been working on an interactive map that shows the location of school bus depots across NYC and gives a visual representation of the disproportionate number of school bus depots located in environmental justice areas, areas with high asthma rates, and areas with poor air quality. We took an original map created by the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) and layered on relevant data showcasing air quality and potential environmental justice (EJ) areas across the city. We used the United Hospital Fund Boundaries to outline different neighborhoods across the City.
When you first navigate to the map dashboard you will see three maps. Each map contains the location of school bus depots across the city. Depot locations are marked using the bus icons visible on each map. The first map contains the distribution of different air pollutants across the city, including particulate matter 2.5 also known as PM 2.5, ozone and nitrogen dioxide. The second map demonstrates the distribution of ER visits due to asthma cases that can be attributed to irritation from air pollutants like ozone and PM 2.5. And The third map lays out Potential EJ areas across the city.
As you can see, most of the bus depots are located in potential EJ areas and areas with high asthma rates. This further supports the need for electric school buses in these communities and demonstrates how diesel school buses and pollution is not only an environmental issue, but it’s a public health issue as well.
Another feature is the option to layer different political districts on each map. You can layer NYC state senate districts, state assembly districts, city council districts, and congressional districts as well. We included this feature to easily identify which electeds represent each issue area, so you can get in touch with them about the issue. This map can even be brought to them as a visual aid.
We believe electric school buses and running electric school bus routes in these areas is a good start to alleviate the disproportional pollution that EJ communities face especially from diesel school buses and their depots. We hope that electrification advocates, parents, students, city council officials, and everyone interested in electric school buses and EJ will use this map as a tool for their advocacy or to better understand the need for esbs in NYC and especially in EJ communities and communities impacted by poor air quality.