(WNY News Now) – New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the allocation of $100 million for zero-emission school buses, marking the first round of funding under the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022.
Albany – Governor Kathy Hochul has unveiled a significant step towards cleaner transportation with the allocation of $100 million for zero-emission school buses across New York State. This funding, made available as part of the historic $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022, aims to support the transition away from fossil fuel buses, reduce emissions, and make zero-emission buses more accessible to school districts and bus operators statewide.
The initiative aligns with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s goal of an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Additionally, it supports Governor Hochul’s 2022 State of the State initiative, which mandates that all new school buses sold in New York State be zero-emission by 2027 and all existing school buses become zero-emission by 2035.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has released program rules today, officially launching the pre-application process for bus manufacturers and dealers to qualify for the New York School Bus Incentive Program (NYSBIP). The NYSBIP, with a total allotment of $500 million, will provide incentives to offset the purchase price difference between zero-emission and traditional school buses, as well as charging infrastructure.
Crucially, the Environmental Bond Act mandates that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits reach disadvantaged communities. Buses serving these communities and high-need school districts will receive special consideration for higher incentives.
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of NYSERDA, emphasized the significance of this funding in advancing clean energy and climate goals, stating, “The Environmental Bond Act funding creates a pivotal opportunity that brings zero-emission school buses to the forefront of New York State’s clean energy and climate future.”
The transition to zero-emission school buses not only benefits the environment but also improves air quality for students and communities. These buses reduce pollutants such as particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide, contributing to healthier environments.
This announcement complements New York State’s broader climate agenda, which includes ambitious targets for renewable energy generation, building emissions reduction, and clean transportation. Governor Hochul has been actively investing in clean transportation, with over $1 billion allocated for zero-emission vehicles in the next five years and regulations requiring 100 percent zero-emission passenger car and light-duty truck sales by 2035.