Grants Help 'Green' Lake Shore Bus Fleet
Bus Grants Help ‘Green’ Lake Shore Transportation Fleet
An effort nearly four years in the making is bringing grant money to help Lake Shore Central Schools purchase its first zero-emissions school bus, the first of its kind to operate in Western New York.
The grants, totaling $200,000, are from the New York State Truck Voucher Program, which pays up to $85,000 to bridge the price gap between a conventional gasoline or diesel engine school bus and an electric, non-emission school bus, and from an enhanced grant using funds from the Volkswagen class action lawsuit. The grants are administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
“This was a very, very long road in the making,” said Transportation Supervisor Perry Oddi. “The most important thing as a school district and community is that we now have the ability to make a ZERO emission vehicle – not low emission, but ZERO emission – available for our students, and to me that is huge.”
The zero-emission buses are not readily available, said Mr. Oddi. The cost - $375,000 – can be prohibitive, and each vehicle is custom made.
The grants bridge that price gap, putting the purchase within the District’s reach, although he points out that the purchase also must be approved by voters this spring.
With that approval, the District can take delivery of the zero-emission bus for the next school year. By not using a gas or diesel engine, the District will see a savings in fuel costs of $10,000 to $11,000 per year, he added.
"Perry Oddi has put a lot of work and effort into the applications," said Superintendent Dan Pacos. “When bus purchases get approved for next year, one of those big yellow buses will be totally electric. This will save the District money on fuel and reduce our carbon footprint."