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Bethlehem schools looking to take bus fleet electric

Mar 26, 2021 2:15 pm

Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Capital Region Independent Media the Bethlehem school district could become one of the first school districts in New York to have a fleet of fully electric school buses. District residents will vote May 18, on a bus purchase proposition that would begin the transition from a fleet of traditional diesel fuel vehicles to zero-emission electric buses. The board of education voted on March 17 to approve the plan. However, the bus purchase plan is not finalized yet, officials said, and it could include nine electric buses or a combination of electric and diesel buses. The district's 2021-22 budget proposal is expected to be finalized April 14. “We have determined the time is right to seek approval to begin making this change to our fleet of vehicles,” Board of Education President Holly Dellenbaugh said in a statement. “District administrators are working hard to leverage all available incentives to allow the district to evolve its fleet in a cost-neutral way...” The plan includes the purchase of up to nine electric buses in 2022 for the total cost of just under $1.7 million, Bethlehem Central School District Chief Business and Financial Officer Judith Kehoe said. Electric charging stations are included in the proposition. State aid for the buses and the charging stations would total approximately $1 million in grants from the New York State Energy and Research Development Agency, or NYSERDA. “We are excited by the possibilities of building an electric school bus fleet, yet we understand the many variables at play and we ultimately rely on the community to let us know if we are headed in the right direction,” said Kehoe. Read the full story in The Ravena News-Herald.