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NYC school bus electrification legislation becomes law

Intro 455-A will require all school buses in NYC to be electric by 2035

November 8, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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On Saturday, Intro 455-A became law, which requires all school buses to be electric by the year 2035. This legislation will improve air quality and health outcomes for children and vulnerable populations hit hardest by diesel pollution.

This transition to an electric school bus fleet shows that New York City is prepared to lead the way on climate and children’s health. Congress must now deliver on the Build Back Better Act to bring critical funding to New York, which will help fund electric school buses.

School buses make up a quarter of transportation gas emissions nationwide, making them a large emitter of carbon dioxide each year. Diesel pollution from buses also poses a serious threat to children’s health and vulnerable communities where bus depots are located.

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Julie Tighe. Photo courtesy of Clean School Bus Coalition.

“The New York League of Conservation Voters applauds the New York City Council for leading on Intro 455-A to move NYC to a clean school bus fleet. We’re excited that this bill is now in effect, which has been a priority for the League for several years. As the largest school district in the nation, New York City’s transition to an all-electric school bus fleet will significantly contribute to a healthier, cleaner future for the City’s children, especially our most vulnerable communities. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio, Council Member Daniel Dromm and other Council Members that lead on the bill, and our partners in the NYC Clean School Bus Coalition for championing climate legislation that will reduce transportation emissions and keep our children healthy,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

LJ Portis. Photo courtesy of Clean School Bus Coalition.

“This is a tremendous victory for all New Yorkers, but environmental justice communities in particular because buses are usually based in these communities, adding to the cumulative impact of what is already significantly worse air quality from the highways, factories, and other sources of pollution that exist in these neighborhoods. We thank Councilmembers Daniel Dromm and James Gennaro for their leadership in getting this passed,” said LJ Portis, WE ACT for Environmental Justice’s Environmental Policy and Advocacy Coordinator.

Georgi Page. Photo courtesy of Clean School Bus Coalition.

“350Brooklyn is very happy to see Intro-455 become law in New York City. Now it is up to us, if we value our kids, to make sure that the funding, training and infrastructure are available to make the law work. Along with federal support, we are looking to our elected representatives in Albany to pass NY State Senate Bill S5268 and Assembly Bill A6754 – and we invite constituents to join their local 350.org affiliate or call and urge their legislators to act, directly. We need to create the clean, modern transportation system that kids deserve so that they can arrive at school without ingesting toxic emissions, and be fully ready to learn, grow and succeed,” said Georgi Page, Lead Organizer, 350Brooklyn City Action.

Jay Mehta. Photo courtesy of Clean School Bus Coalition.

“Passing Intro-455 was a bold and necessary first step to help secure clean air for our children and our communities in New York City. We’re excited to continue working alongside our allies in the coalition and with city officials to ensure that our city leads the way in showing how we can have a rapid, successful, and equitable transition to clean electric buses for kids while creating good jobs with family-sustaining wages and benefits,” said Jay Mehta, Northeast Director, Jobs to Move America.

Deb Peck Kelleher. Photo courtesy of Clean School Bus Coalition.

“The Alliance for Clean Energy New York thanks the Mayor and the City Council for passing Intro 455-A. This newly enacted bill will reduce the diesel pollution our kids are exposed to and it will reduce the City’s climate emissions. We are pleased to see the State’s largest school district take the lead on protecting our children and our planet,” said Deb Peck Kelleher, Director of Policy Analysis for the Alliance for Clean Energy New York.

Leslie Stevens. Photo courtesy of Clean School Bus Coalition.

“It is so exciting to see the Electric School Bus rollout for NYC finally turn into law today (Intro 455-A). With this law, we can ensure our children will breathe clean air when riding the school bus, people near the bus routes and parents waiting at the bus stops will also have much better, cleaner air to breathe. Thank you to the City Council for recognizing and acting on the protection of our children, and for the work of our partners on the NYC Clean Bus Coalition for keeping laser-focused on getting this legislation passed into law,” said Leslie Stevens, 350NYC Steering and Transportation Committees.

Jenny Veloz. Photo courtesy of Clean School Bus Coalition.

“Today we take a significant step towards mitigating the dangers of climate change. Transitioning to a zero-emissions, all-electric school bus fleet provides New York City students, especially students with disabilities, an opportunity for cleaner, safer rides to and from school. Our most vulnerable communities will no longer breathe in toxic fumes. Intro 455-A becoming law signifies that we are one step closer to ensuring a cleaner, healthier future for generations to come,” said Jenny Veloz, Community Organizer of the Environmental Justice Program at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.


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