Baldwinsville Rejects Electric School Bus Proposal Baldwinsville Rejects Electric School Bus Proposal

BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) — Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced that funding is available to build electric school bus charging stations, aiming to make school transportation cleaner and greener through the bus incentive program. However, this week the Baldwinsville School District voted against purchasing electric buses, opting to continue using gas-powered vehicles.

In a clear decision reflecting community sentiment, voters rejected the proposal to switch to electric buses by a significant margin. Superintendent Joseph DeBarbieri said the measure would have helped the district.

“We have a significant fleet of school transportation vehicles, and this allows us to maintain that replenishment as needed based on the number of miles our buses travel each and every day,” DeBarbieri said.

However community member Katie Reuter, was one of many who were against the electric buses.

“Rather than trying to turn all the buses electric, I just prefer to see those dollars spent revitalizing the community and helping people and helping kids succeed in school. I don’t think the buses need to be electric,” Reuter said.

In 2022, the state legislature mandated that all new school bus purchases be zero-emission by 2027, with all school buses on the road required to be electric by 2035. Despite a $200,000 grant intended to offset the $575,000 cost of an electric bus, the community was not convinced.

“If we geared courses more towards real-life, practical scenarios, things that are gonna help people progress financially and not just educationally,” said Daniel Barnum, another community member.

Proposition III, which proposed the purchase of one zero-emission bus, failed with 716 votes in favor and 1,423 against. Superintendent DeBarbieri expressed gratitude to the community for participating in the vote and said that the results would help gauge where the community stands on the electric bus mandate.

As the 2027 deadline approaches, further discussions and decisions will be necessary to address the community’s concerns and the legislative requirements for transitioning to electric school buses.

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