Lake Shore to Unveil Electric School Bus Later This Month | News, Sports, Jobs


Western New York’s first electric school bus will hit the road this fall in the Lake Shore Central School District.

The bus will transport Lake Shore students from Angola to the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES programs in Dunkirk, Fredonia and Cassadaga, and back to Angola. Community members will have the first chance to ride it, however, during a rollout event on Monday, August 22, starting at noon for the district and region’s first electric school bus. In preparation for these new and future additions to the Lake Shore fleet, approximately 30 drivers and mechanics will attend training on Monday, August 22.

In the morning, the mechanics will take the bus up into the air for a ride. At noon, the bus will be brought to the new high school athletic entrance for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by brief trips around campus for those who wish to experience the quieter, smoother ride of an electric bus. Subsequently, the drivers will be trained to drive the 71-passenger vehicle.

“Eliminating diesel fuel emissions provides public health and environmental benefits, and electric buses also provide operational savings for school districts,” Superintendent Dan Pacos said. “The initial cost of an electric school bus is higher than a diesel school bus, but electric buses cut fuel and maintenance costs in half over the life of the vehicle. We anticipate annual savings of $15,000 in fuel and maintenance costs with the electric bus. Thanks to state aid reimbursements and funds from the auction of old buses, we have been able to buy the electric bus at a very low local cost to taxpayers, which will be offset by the annual savings the bus will generate. Lake Shore Central Schools strives to keep pace with new ideas and technologies, so we decided it was time to try electric buses and fix any issues before we had to convert our entire fleet.

“By eliminating diesel exhaust emissions, we reduce air pollution and ground-level ozone, as well as air quality-related illnesses and asthma,” said district transportation supervisor Perry Oddi. “It’s not just about reducing our carbon footprint, it’s about having the ability to keep our students and staff healthy and safe.”

Thirty-eight states have committed to using electric school buses since January 2022. In its 2022-23 state budget, New York committed to fully electrifying its fleet (at 45,000 traditional school buses, that’s the largest fleet in the country) by 2035.

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