Clean Buses for Healthy Niños

May 13, 2021

NYC Clean School Bus Coalition

We formed a new coalition in October 2020 to fight for zero-emission school buses in New York City, and to ensure that Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to electrification is upheld. Read the announcement here and visit the coalition website here.

 

BIG NEWS: All School Buses In NYC Will Be Electric By 2035

On Thursday, October 7, 2021, Intro 455-A passed through the NYC Council with 44 votes for and 1 vote against. Intro 455-A requires that all NYC school buses be electric by 2035. It also includes a stipulation that requires the Department of Education (DOE) to report on a variety of implementation targets, some regarding equitable distribution of buses, in accordance with three deadlines:  July 1, 2023, 2028, and 2033.

 

Check Out Our Clean Bus Guide

We are excited to release our Clean Bus Guide, a toolkit we put together to help communities around the state promote the transition to electric school buses. Organize your own electric school bus campaign using our Clean Bus Guide. It provides talking points about the harmful public health and environmental impacts of diesel pollution, information on key stakeholders to involve in your campaign, information on funding for electric school buses, campaign organizing tips and strategies, and more. Let’s continue the fight for clean school buses together! Get the guide for FREE here.

 

Check Out Our Webinar with the Drive Electric Long Island Coalition

On September 30th, as part of Drive Electric Week, we held a webinar with the Drive Electric Long Island Coalition and Mothers Out Front Long Island to walk through our Clean Bus Guide. Click here to access the webinar recording and learn how you can launch a successful campaign to bring emission free electric school buses to your local school district! Passcode for the recording is H7KX0Hi=

Updates

For more updates follow our NYC Clean School Bus Coalition Twitter & Instagram @nycleanbus

Intro 455-A Passes in the NYC Council, Mandating an All Electric School Bus Fleet by 2035!

On October 7, 2021 Intro 455-A was brought to a vote and passed through the NYC Council. This is a HUGE win for the healthy and safety of our children, school bus workers, communities, and planet. Read more about this historic passing in our blog post.

Rally to Show Support for Electric School Buses 

Our NYC Clean School Bus Coalition held a rally on September 30th, 2021 at Tweed Courthouse, with all our coalition members, parent advocates, and Council Members Daniel Dromm & Jim Gennaro  to demand the passage of Intro 455-A and to show love for electric school buses. Read more about the event here

Bethlehem and Croton Vote for Electric School Buses

Voters in the Bethlehem and Croton-Harmon school districts voted in favor of purchasing zero-emission school buses for students.

Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Commits to 100% Electric School Bus Fleet by 2035

Big news from the Mayor’s office as he committed to electrifying the entire NYC school bus fleet by 2035! What does this mean for our school bus work and what are the steps to electrification? Read our blog post to learn more about what happens now that the Mayor has made this commitment.

Coalition Launch and 2020–2021 Agenda Release

On Children’s Health Day 2020, a coalition launched that aims to phase out all school buses running on fossil fuels and transition to all-electric buses by 2040. Along with the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, coalition members include New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, North Brooklyn Neighbors, 350Brooklyn, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Earthjustice, and Jobs to Move America. Learn more and read the agenda.

School Bus Drawing Contest!

We held a Clean School Bus Drawing Contest to raise awareness about our Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign. For more than two years, NYLCVEF has been supporting the electrification of school buses in New York State. Currently, approximately 40,000 school buses in New York State run on diesel fuel, the exhaust from which has been shown to emit a toxic cocktail of chemicals that pollutes our air, harms public health, and contributes to climate change. When children ride the bus to school they are exposed to these fumes, which can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Our most vulnerable communities experience these impacts at much higher rates. That’s why NYLCVEF supports school bus electrification and investment in electric school buses.

Our Clean School Bus Drawing Contest invited school-aged kids to think about the last time they saw a school bus or consider what they think an electric school bus would look like, and draw it! We hope participants found it to be a great exercise to get creative and learn about the environmental and health benefits of electrifying school buses. 

This contest closed on June 10th, 2020. See below the winning drawings that are featured in our Clean Bus Guide, a toolkit of resources for community groups across the state to create their own campaigns for electric school buses. Congratulations to the winners!

Our Press Conference at the NYC DOE:

In 2018, former New York City Council Member Rafael Espinal spearheaded a pilot program to bring electric school buses to New York City by the start of the 2019 school year. However, the buses are still not on the road.

In September of 2019 we organized a press conference with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) and former Council Member Rafael Espinal to urge the NYC Department of Education (DOE) to clean its school bus fleet and show our support for the highly anticipated pilot program. We were joined by WE ACT, Transportation Alternatives, EarthJustice, and Citywide Council for District 75.

Letter to NYC DOE from City Council Chairs:

In February 2020, six City Council members and chairs of the relevant Council Committees (Health, Transportation, Environment, Finance, Contracts, and Education) sent a letter to the DOE asking them to engage in a discussion about Intro 455, a City Council bill that would electrify the city’s school bus fleet by 2040. 

The letter was signed by Council Member Dromm, Chair of the Finance Committee; Council Member Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education; Council Member Kallos, Chair of the Committee on Contracts; Council Member Constantinides, Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection; Council Member Levine, Chair of the Committee on Health; and Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Committee on Transportation. See the full letter here

Thank you Letter to NYC Council Speaker Johnson

Along with our partners NYLPI and WE ACT, we wrote a thank you letter to NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson, for including support for electric school buses in his 2020 State of the City address

Speaker Johnson listed achieving a 100% Zero Emissions Vehicle School Bus Fleet by 2040 as a priority under the policies he outlined in his address. We look forward to working with the Council to ensure legislation is passed to achieve this goal! See the full letter here- Thank You Letter to Speaker Johnson

Our Rally & Petition Delivery

This past June, NYLCV successfully delivered our petition to Governor Cuomo, asking him to fund electric school buses in school districts overburdened by poor air quality. Over the past six months, NYLCV mobilized community members, raised public awareness about the dangers of diesel school buses and emboldened our partners and allies to demand action from New York State. In total, we gathered nearly 6,000 signatures from New Yorkers concerned about the health and safety of New York’s school children.

At our rally, we spoke to the public about the environmental, health and economic impacts of diesel school buses and air pollution. We also highlighted the importance of the rare opportunity New York State currently has. The Volkswagen Settlement establishes a state mitigation fund which provides the DEC and Governor Cuomo with a chance to invest in clean transportation, protect our children and undo the disparate impact of climate change on the economically disadvantaged and communities of color. Together with our partners and community leaders, we continue to demand that the state use the $127 million it received from the Volkswagen Settlement to fund electric school buses in environmental justice communities. Watch our rally and petition delivery here.

Do you or your organization want to join our coalition?

Contact us today: Caroline Hahn at chahn@nylcv.org . 

 

Thank you to our valued partners.

      

     

     

Special thanks to the New York Community Trust for its generous support of this program.

 

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