BCC Awarded State Clean Transportation Prize

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“Electrifying School Buses in the Bronx and Beyond”
Awarded State Clean Transportation Prize
Bronx Community College (BCC) Among the Grant Recipients  

The project, led by NYCSBUS and partner organizations, receives $8 million in prize money to enable first case study for large-scale school bus electrification in New York

 NYC School Bus Umbrella Services (NYCSBUS) and their project partners the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (NYLCVEF), World Resources Institute (WRI), The Mobility House, Bronx Community College, and CALSTART have been awarded the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Clean Transportation Prize through the Electric Truck and Bus Challenge.

The winning project, “Electrifying School Buses in the Bronx and Beyond (ESB3),” which received $8 million in prize money, provides a framework to accelerate the deployment of zero-emission school buses in New York City and throughout the State.

The purpose of the New York Clean Transportation Prizes is to help electrify transportation, reduce air pollution, and enhance clean mobility in disadvantaged communities in New York State.

The choice of using NYCSBUS’s Zerega Depot in the Bronx for the first phase of the project is intentional, as the surrounding community ranks in the 98th percentile nationally for air pollution caused by diesel engines. Air pollution causes respiratory illnesses such as asthma, which is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism. And since those riding inside the bus often bear the worst of it, it’s crucial that children are driven to school not on fossil-fuel burning vehicles, but instead on clean energy rides that mitigate this public health hazard.

The state and city have mandated the electrification of all school buses by 2035, and a recently announced infusion of over $69 million in federal funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide New York with 184 Electric Buses, with 51 of them going to New York City school districts. However, acquiring the vehicles is not the only barrier to a clean energy bus fleet. Bus companies and school districts need to navigate unfamiliar territory, and overburdened school districts often lack the resources and expertise to manage electric school bus adoption on a large scale.

NYSERDA support will enable NYCSBUS to serve as a first laboratory and case study for large scale school bus electrification in New York, documenting not just the proper selection of buses but the even more complicated deployment of charging infrastructure, development of training and operational protocols, and community engagement so that the project is successful. The project also includes two additional New York State school districts as case studies as well as the creation of a Center of Excellence at the Zerega Depot.

These elements will provide the foundation for a full fleet electrification plan for NYCSBUS’s 850 buses and a roadmap for bus companies and school districts throughout the state.

Clement Drummond, Director of Automotive Technology at Bronx Community College said:

“We are pleased to be part of the electrification of the NYC school bus program. Our courses are designed to advance the knowledge of fleet maintenance personnel into the future. This is a game changer to have zero emissions and advanced driver safety systems that are designed to save lives.”

About Bronx Community College

Bronx Community College of The City University of New York offers more than 40 academic programs that prepare students for careers and further education at four-year colleges. An array of transfer agreements and partnerships with other schools make BCC a pathway to success. Located on a 45-acre tree-lined campus, the College provides students with high-quality classes, outstanding faculty and course schedules that fit into their lives. BCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), with students from some 100 countries. BCC is the first community college to be named a National Historic Landmark for its classic Stanford White-designed structures, including the Hall of Fame for Great Americans. BCC is a major cultural institution in the borough and an engine for economic mobility throughout the Bronx. For more information about Bronx Community College, visit. www.bcc.cuny.edu

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