The city was supposed to have electric school buses this year — they’re nowhere to be found
It’s not easy being green.
Environmental advocates were up in arms Thursday after the city’s Department of Education failed to make good on its commitment to roll out a handful of fully electric yellow buses in time for the school year.
Councilman Rafael Espinal (D-Brooklyn) last year established a $1.25 million pilot program to add four fully-electric school buses to the city’s fleet before the first day of school on Thursday.
They’re nowhere to be found.
“This is something that should have been an easy ground ball," said Espinal. “They had the money. They had the support. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t have been able to deliver (the buses).”
A report published by the New York League of Conservation Voters last year showed that converting the city’s roughly 9,000 gas-guzzling school buses to electric vehicles would be the environmental equivalent of taking more than 621,000 cars off the road.
“The electric school bus pilot is an opportunity for DOE to be innovative in cleaning up student transport and reduce pollution that puts kids’ health at risk,” NYLCV president Julie Tighe said at a press conference outside Tweed Courthouse Thursday. “Zero emission school buses would provide cleaner air not just for our city’s students, but our communities as well.”
Barbot said the electric buses will hit the streets soon after the contract to purchase them is approved.
“We’re excited about this pilot too, and once the contract is approved we can purchase the buses,” said Barbot. “We expect to have these buses on the road this year.”