So Much Money and Carbon to be Saved
By: Patty L. Buchanan
Croton100 has continued with its best efforts to educate the Croton School District about the benefits of integrating electric school buses into its fleet in the 2021-22 budget cycle that is currently being finalized. We were so inspired by the many messages community members sent to the Board of Education (BOE) in response to our March 4, 2021 Call to Action! A big thank you to all who shared their views with the BOE. They are hearing our loud and clear voices. We hope they actually listen!
Here’s more good news: we have prepared a detailed financial analysis of electric bus options with upfront costs, projected financial savings and carbon reductions and shared it with the BOE. Our report includes an executive summary with easy recommendations to follow with a variety of replacement vehicle options that would keep our up-front out-of-pocket expenses at manageable levels on a trajectory to save money over time. The breaking news is that we qualify for a higher level of Volkswagen settlement money for at least one bus.
Our report is both detailed and succinct. The beauty in it is that there are several different sources of funding from NYSERDA and a variety of ways to bring electrified replacement buses into the fleet. Here are a few excerpts from our report with our recommendations and graphics that illustrate the options and their benefits.
We know that we are on the right road because our e-school bus campaign received a tremendously impactful lift along the way from the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV). Their mission is to “fight climate change, conserve land and water, and protect public health in New York State through political action.” They have authored an insightful, compelling, and graphically beautiful(!) report to guide advocates and school districts in integrating electric buses into their fleets: NYLCV Clean Bus Guide. They have joined as Croton100’s advocacy partner on this e-school bus campaign. They have already demonstrated their support by submitting a joint letter with us to the BOE aligning with Croton100’s advocacy that was read into the public record at the March 11 BOE meeting. We are preparing to go the distance on this campaign together.
What comes next? The next 10 days are a critically important period in the decision-making process. The School Board will be considering various options and voting on the proposal on March 25 that will go on the community-wide ballot on May 18. Keep your eyes on the School’s website for updates and do not be shy about sending messages to them in support of Croton100’s recommendations. A template for a message is provided at the bottom of this blog.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like more information or would like to get involved with Croton100: [email protected].
You can use this template for your message to the BOE:
Please do not spend any more taxpayer funds on fossil fuel vehicles. The School is the largest taxpayer-funded greenhouse gas emitter in our community. It has a responsibility to immediately begin the process of reducing its emissions by 5-10% per year each and every year per the call to action by global scientists if we are to stave off the worst calamities of climate change. Although an electric bus has a higher purchase price than a diesel bus, this purchase price differential should not be a deal breaker because there are a variety of funding possibilities, the higher purchase price is off-set by lower costs of operation and maintenance (making total cost of ownership of an electric bus less than a fossil fuel bus), an additional 36% of the Transportation Bond amount will flow to the School in free State aid and that money should be used to help to buy electric vehicles. Please commit to buying at least one electric bus in this budget cycle and follow Croton100’s recommendations. Thank you for your consideration of these comments and for your dedicated public service.