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Electric School Buses To Roll Out For Westchester: Online Forum

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January 29, 2022

Westchester County Executive George Latimer, the County’s Office of Energy and Sustainability and the Westchester chapters of Mothers Out Front co-hosted an electric school bus forum on January 27. Panelists shared resources to help schools transition off fossil fuel powered buses to zero emission electric fleets.

“My Administration has made it our priority to not only focus on what green initiatives we can immediately control on the County level,” said County Executive Latimer,” but to also work with key local stakeholders to provide information, know-how and support to other leaders in Westchester so they can take the same steps. We only have one planet and it will take collective actions to save it.”

In addition to the County Executive, opening remarks were made by State Senator Pete Harckham and State Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti. Abinanti was instrumental in obtaining State grant funds for the first electric school bus for the Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow schools, hopefully going into operation this year.

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Mothers Out Front is a national, grassroots organization working toward a just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The Westchester chapters have been advocating for electric school buses because of their environmental and health benefits.

Said Mothers Out Front Volunteer Megan Dyer: “When our members learned that emissions from our school buses made up a quarter of the transportation greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., we realized we could help mitigate the climate crisis for our kids. Transitioning to electric would make a massive positive impact for the climate, air quality, and school cost-savings.”

Among the panelists were White Plains Superintendent Joseph Ricca and Transportation Supervisor Sergio Alfonso who discussed their district’s electric bus pilot program. Croton-Harmon Assistant Superintendent Denise Harrington-Cohen shared that district’s process to receive state funding. Discussing resources and incentives were: Northeast Regional Director of CALSTART Benjamin Mandel on behalf of NYSERDA’s program; Director of e-Mobility and Engineering for New York Power Authority John Markowitz; and Director of e-Mobility and Demonstrations for Con Edison Raghusimha Sunhakara. Croton 100 Volunteer Leader Patty Buchanan shared a tool to calculate total cost of ownership.

For a recording of the event, visit https://www.mothersoutfront.org/lets-go-electric.

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