Thursday, 22 February 2024 13:18

Local Officials Call for School Bus Mandate to Be Repealed

Pictured left to right: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District Bus Mechanic Robert Killeen, Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh, State Senator Jim Tedisco, and Director of Pupil Transportation for the Shenendehowa Central School District Al Karam. Photo provided by Adam Kramer. Pictured left to right: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District Bus Mechanic Robert Killeen, Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh, State Senator Jim Tedisco, and Director of Pupil Transportation for the Shenendehowa Central School District Al Karam. Photo provided by Adam Kramer.

ALBANY — State Senator Jim Tedisco and Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh joined with local school transportation workers to call for a repeal of the school bus mandate that would require districts throughout the state to have entirely zero-emission fleets by 2035. The group wants the mandate to be replaced with a pilot program that would evaluate electric bus performance.

“The goal of having several clean energy options is a good one, but it’s got to be done with common sense and in a realistic way that’s reasonable and affordable for taxpayers, our local governments, and school districts -- and not add to the high tax burden faced by New Yorkers,” said Tedisco in a statement. “We’re offering a reasonable proposal to rescind the electric school bus mandate that will cost school districts in New York State billions of dollars, and replace it with a state-funded pilot program that enables school districts to test and evaluate how these electric buses perform.”

 Tedisco and Walsh cited various issues as justification for repealing the mandate, including reliability, cost, and an “inability to operate or charge in frigid temperatures.”

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