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Cuomo Announces Bus Electrification Initiatives

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $16.4 million in incentives to expand electric bus usage. It’s funded by a settlement between the state and Volkswagen.

Suffolk County Transit is one of five public transit authorities in the state to receive the funds through the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program. Cuomo said transportation authorities will be required to plan to transition their bus fleets to 100% zero-emissions by 2035 to claim the funds.

The incentives, which reduce carbon emissions and improves air quality, also includes $2.5 million for school bus operators to purchase vehicles with lower emissions.

The New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund released a Clean Bus Guide to promote the transition to electric school buses. The guide found that diesel fumes can cause or exacerbate asthma in children, and that children of color are disproportionately affected by asthma, the “number one chronic illness for children” and is associated with high medical costs. The guide said the upfront costs of electric buses are offset by investments in improved air quality and public health.