Opinion | It’s Time to Invest in Electric Buses

To the Editor:

As highlighted in “The Wheels on These Buses Go Round With Zero Emissions” (Climate, nytimes.com, Nov. 12), electric buses are not only cleaner and healthier than their diesel counterparts, but also more affordable than people think.

The article notes that electric buses cost more up front than diesel buses, but a new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that because of fuel and maintenance savings, electric school buses cost up to $170,000 less than their diesel counterparts over their lifetimes.

The report also suggests how school districts can offset the upfront purchase price of electric buses, from obtaining state and federal grants, to issuing bonds, to justly reinvesting funds from the Volkswagen emissions violations settlement into clean transportation.

Anything worthwhile requires an upfront investment of time, effort and/or money. States that don’t make this investment now will need to spend more on both health care resulting from polluted air and on the inevitable transition away from fossil fuels.

Our goal needs to be to switch to 100 percent all-electric buses by 2030. To do that, we need to phase out the purchase of diesel buses now and get on board with a cleaner and healthier future.

Matthew Casale
The writer is 21st-century transportation campaign director for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

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