3 WNY school districts getting funding for electric buses

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Three local school districts, including Buffalo, are each getting a cut of nearly $13 million to buy electric buses.

Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office announced the federal funding on Wednesday. It comes from the second round of the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. The law included $5 billion for replacing school buses over five years.

“As the wheels of the school bus go round and round, carbon emissions and pollution are going to keep going down and down,” Schumer said.

The following Western New York districts are receiving rebate funding this round:

Buffalo City School District – $8,625,000

Pine Valley Central School District – $2,760,000

Sweet Home Central School District – $1,600,000

With this money, Buffalo Public Schools plans to buy an estimated 25 new electric school buses, Schumer’s office said.

“Given that diesel-fueled school buses have been linked to a number of respiratory illnesses and conditions, the Buffalo Board of Education approved a resolution in August 2023 supporting the district’s efforts to collaborate with its transportation partner First Student to use low-emission electric school buses in order to better serve our students and the community,” Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Tonja Williams said.

Pine Valley Superintendent Shanda Duclon says the transition to electric vehicles is a win for district residents.

“Rural school districts face several challenges, and transitioning to electric vehicles is one of them,” Duclon said. “Because of these funds, our burden to shoulder is much lighter.”

Schumer anticipates New York getting nearly $96 million in federal rebate funding for electric buses across New York State.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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