BAY SHORE, N.Y. — A school bus contractor and district here recently rolled out four new all-electric Blue Bird school buses.
The new buses for Suffolk Transportation Service and Bay Shore Union Free School District are part of the first production line series of electric models (non-development, hybrid, or retrofit models) from Blue Bird, according to a news release from the school bus contractor. (Non-development models means the buses are not prototypes or part of a special order.) The district purchased the buses with a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coordinated by Suffolk Transportation Service and Robert McBride Consulting.
“The school bus of the future is here today,” said John Corrado, president of Suffolk Transportation Service. “These fully electric buses are clean, efficient, and provide a smooth, quiet ride. A typical bus consumes 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel each school year, so just through this purchase the Bay Shore School District is reducing consumption of fossil fuel by nearly 6,000 gallons and lowering its carbon footprint.”
Joseph Bond, the superintendent for Bay Shore Union Free School District, added that the new buses will greatly benefit students transportation and improve the city’s mission to reduce its overall carbon footprint.
Suffolk Transportation Service currently provides pupil transportation to 6,600 Bay Shore Union Free School District students every day.
The Blue Bird electric buses are powered by Cummins all-electric drivetrains and will be able to travel up to 120 miles on a charge, according to Suffolk Transportation Service. In addition to Bay Shore, approximately 100 Blue Bird electric models were introduced during the 2019-20 school year in various states, including California, Colorado, and New Jersey.
According to Richard Gallager, the director of transportation for Bay Shore Union Free School District, the cost to operate an electric bus is about $0.17 per mile compared to $0.75 per mile for a diesel model.
“The nation is increasingly interested in electric vehicles of all types, and we anticipate rapid growth of electric school buses as more districts are educated on the zero-emissions and low-maintenance benefits they bring to their local communities,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird.
For over 70 years, Suffolk Transportation Service has been a provider of school bus transportation along with its public transit affiliate (Suffolk Bus Corp.). Together, the two operate a fleet of over 1,600 vehicles and employ more than 2,700 Long Islanders.