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Lake Shore Schools are going green, as they get the first electric school bus in WNY

ANGOLA, N.Y. (WIVB) — One bus at Lake Shore Central Schools is helping them get in gear for an upcoming New York State requirement. All purchased school buses must be electric by 2027.

“We have a fleet of 50 school buses, and within 10 years, we have to have all the diesel and gas buses out of our fleet and have zero emissions,” said Daniel Pacos, Superintendent of Lake Shore Schools. “We thought it makes total sense to get one, run it through all of our tests and work out all the kinks before we have to get more than one.”

Lake Shore Central School District is the first school district to obtain an electric bus in their fleet, and they are using this one as a test drive.

“This is the first for us, so we’re going to keep a very close eye on it,” said Perry Oddi, Lake Shore Central Schools’ Transportation Supervisor. “We are currently charging the vehicle off of what’s called a ‘DC Fast Charge,’ which will give the vehicle a full charge in approximately three hours, dependent upon outside temperatures, and we’re just monitoring the vehicle very close.”

The school purchased the Blue Bird Electric school bus with the help of a grant received from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority that covered majority of the costs and the school district expects the buses to help save some green in the future.

“We estimated before Covid that we would save anywhere from 12 to 15 thousand dollars a year,” said Pacos. “It cuts down on the amount of oil and petroleum products that we’re using and as well as if we are able to add some solar panels to our transportation and power ourselves, it will greatly reduce.”

“I feel like a lot of kids are going to enjoy this,” said Alexa Jones, a Lake Shore High School Sophomore, who was the first student to ride the bus. “Getting to go somewhere on an electric bus and actually being able to hear each other talk on the bus because other than that it’s so quiet and the other buses are so loud.”

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.

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