Westchester County Executive, George Latimer announced in a press release on July 21 that, by a unanimous vote, the Westchester County Board of Legislators approved a $4,475,000 bond to be used for purchasing a fleet of electric transit buses, aiming to replace the County’s diesel buses and save money on costly fuel.
According to the press release, Latimer said, “My administration has made it a priority to replace our existing bus fleet with new, cleaner models. This is another step in that direction. As we move to a more sustainable future, mass transit – and clean mass transit – must play a larger role.”
More specifically, the County’s Bee-Line Bus fleet would be expanding with 78 diesel-electric 60 foot buses, 40 diesel-electric 40 foot buses and two full electric buses. The clean diesel-electric buses and the full electric buses have been credited with already saving the County over one million gallons of fuel, while preventing 18,400 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from polluting the environment.
Sarah Smiley and Amy Hill, members of Mothers Out Front, a national grassroots organization with a local chapter in the Westchester rivertowns working to ensure a livable climate for all children by transitioning communities off fossil fuels, have been fighting for electric buses in the County. They are especially focused on transitioning to electric school buses which they think will be an important next step after implementing this new Westchester fleet. “Climate change is the biggest threat to future generations,” Smiley said. “In New York State the largest sources of emissions are transportation and buildings. If we do not take dramatic action now, it will be too late.”