New York City Council on Thursday passed a bill mandating that the city’s school bus fleet go fully electric by 2035.
In a statement, Mac Dressman, a transportation associate for U.S. PIRG, praised the bill’s passage:
“Kids in New York City will soon be able to breathe a little easier. New York City’s commitment to a 100 percent electric bus future shows that the city is serious about securing clean air for our children and a livable climate for our future. We applaud the City Council for making this important commitment – now it’s time to make cleaner air for all a reality by installing charging infrastructure, coordinating with utilities on vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, and ensuring that all new buses ordered are electric.”
The city previously mandated that non-emergency fleet vehicles make the conversion to electric by 2040 and required all parking facilities to include electric vehicle chargers for at least 20 percent of parking spaces.
The office of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is expected to sign the bill into law, estimates that emissions from all cars, buses, and trucks accounts for 30 percent of New York City’s carbon emissions. It’s also estimated that traffic-caused air pollution contributes to 320 premature deaths and 870 emergency visits each year, according to U.S. PIRG.
In an April statement, Ben Furnas, the director of New York City’s Office of Climate and Sustainability said: “Electrifying our school buses will give our schoolchildren cleaner air to breathe while confronting the climate crisis and accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels.”