19 Upstate New York school districts will receive federal funds to purchase all-new electric school buses

B.R. Shenoy

"Over $50 million will supercharge our efforts to fight climate change and power over 130 brand new electric buses to keep our air clean, kids safe and our Upstate New York healthy. I am proud to deliver this tremendous environmental justice investment that will put our students on the road to a brighter future and a cleaner commute," Senator Schumer's (D-NY) office, per a press release.

According to news outlets, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York announced a total of $50 million in funding for purchasing 130 low and zero-emissions buses for Upstate school districts.

The funds were included in President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed nearly a year ago. It represents the first round of $5 billion in federal grants for school districts nationwide. According to Schumer's office, this first round includes a billion dollars to cover the cost of 2,500 electric buses across the country, with additional grants to be announced through 2026.

According to Senator Schumer, diesel exhaust from old fossil fuels significantly contributes to poor air quality in many communities. It has been linked to poor health and asthma, particularly in children whose lungs are still developing.

Communities that have historically been underserved, rural and urban, and could not otherwise afford new buses will now benefit from the advanced and environmentally friendly technology.

New York state has committed to having all-electric school buses by 2035. One difficulty with climate-change initiatives is the initial investment in new technology.

Electric buses are three to four times the price of diesel buses.

The use of electric buses is not entirely new in the state. Electric buses are currently being used in mass transit systems because they cover more ground than school buses.

The districts that received grant funding in this round can be found here.

What are your thoughts on electric buses? Let us know in the comments.

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