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New York schools have five years to start shift to electric buses

school buses
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School districts in New York have five years to begin converting their buses to electric vehicles.

All school buses purchased after 2027 must run on electricity, according to a provision in the New York State budget enacted on Friday. It also requires that all buses to be emissions-free by 2035.

Environmental advocates said the timeline, as is, combats contributions to climate change. However, education officials said it’s going to be a challenge, especially with the added cost of installing charging stations, and the possible need to overhaul school electric systems.

School districts can apply for a one-time, two-year implementation waiver from the state Education Department, if needed.

The department also has the power to push back the 2027 deadline if the quick-turnaround becomes too costly, or if districts run into supply chain issues.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.