Ballot Proposition: Bus Purchase (max. $821,000)
This year’s bus proposition will appear on the ballot as a separate proposition from the school budget. At a cost of $821,000, the proposal would allow the district to purchase four school buses: one 70-passenger electric bus and three mid-size 45-passenger diesel buses that can accommodate wheelchairs.
Approximately 63% of the cost of borrowing for the bus purchases is covered by state aid, resulting in a final cost to the district of $303,770.
Passage of this year’s bus purchase proposition would bring the total number of electric buses to six and would continue the momentum towards an electric bus fleet. In May 2021, BC voters approved the purchase of five electric buses and charging stations for the new vehicles. That charging infrastructure is in place and the district is awaiting the delivery of five electric buses this spring.
Why only one electric bus?
Last year, the purchase of five electric buses was aided by $1,000,000 in grant funding that is not available for 2022-23. Also, the district’s current charging capacity can support a sixth bus, however, additional charging equipment for up to 25 more buses approved as part of the capital project will not be complete until 2024. The district also expects that new state and federal incentives will be made available in the next few years to reduce the cost of electric buses.
As part of the recently-approved 2022-23 New York state budget, all school districts will be required to have fully electric bus fleets by 2035. BC is one of the first districts in the state to have already begun to electrify its fleet.