A newly awarded $1 million DERA grant will help Suffolk Transportation Service and three New...

A newly awarded $1 million DERA grant will help Suffolk Transportation Service and three New York districts purchase seven electric school buses. 

Photo courtesy Suffolk Transportation Service

New York-based Suffolk Transportation Service Inc. (STS) has partnered with the Bay Shore School District to secure a Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) Office of Transportation and Air Quality for more than $1 million to purchase seven electric buses.

The funding will enable STS and the district to expand their Clean Buses initiative, launched in 2018, to include neighboring Brentwood Union Free School District and Central Islip Union Free School District, according to a news release from the school bus contractor.

The announcement was made on May 11 at the STS safety and training facility in Bay Shore. In attendance was a group of representatives from the three participating school districts and STS. Electric buses were available on site for tours and rides for all who were interested in experiencing the uniqueness of riding in an electric bus.

STS was awarded the EPA grant based on a demonstrated existing commitment to achieving significant reductions in diesel emissions by employing cleaner, more efficient vehicles and equipment, and a plan to continue this commitment by implementing additional “green” strategies and policies after EPA funding for this project has ended. STS currently has four electric buses in use for the Bay Shore School District. 

“For the last 15 years, our company has been building and testing electric-hybrid and plug-in technologies in an effort to run the most sustainable operation possible,” said John Corrado, president of Suffolk Transportation Service Inc. “We are committed to converting our fleet overto all electric as soon as we can. It is the clean choice and the smart choice for our communities and our children."

“This expansion of the number of electric buses in the fleet will mean more of a reduction in our carbon footprint and environmental impact,” said Joseph Bond, the district's superintendent. “I would like to thank John Corrado and everyone at Suffolk Transportation for working with us and our transportation director, Rich Gallagher, to secure this EPA grant and help us make our communities the best they can be."

The Clean Buses initiative has provided significant reductions in diesel emissions for the thousands of residents living within the Bay Shore School District, where youth experience major respiratory illnesses and asthma, according to the news release. The expansion of Clean Buses to include the nearby school districts of Brentwood and Central Islip helps address the increase of diesel toxins in the region, while helping to create a cleaner breathing environment for young people.