New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock, together with the NYC Department of Education (DOE), and the US Department of Transportation Center Volpe Center (US DOT Volpe) announced a joint effort to improve school bus safety. Working in partnership, DCAS, DOE, and US DOT Volpe will study ways to improve the design and operation of school buses in New York City to reduce crashes and increase safety. The effort will have a particular focus on electric school buses as the City will transition all school buses to electric by 2035. The study will result in a Safe Fleet Transition Plan to be published by the end of the year.
The plan will lay the foundation for critical safety improvements including the potential to adopt high vision buses, determine the viability of intelligent speed assistance and automatic braking, and consider employing audible turn signals and alerts similar to those used by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. In addition to exploring these features, the plan will also gauge the efficacy of surround cameras on buses, improve and implement new ways to utilize telematics, assess the use of backup alerts and cameras, expand the DCAS safety training to school bus operators, and more.
Upon completion of the study, DCAS will work closely with the DOE and school bus companies to develop short-term retrofit proposals and identify funding sources, reevaluate and develop specifications and requirements for future school bus contracts, and urge school bus suppliers to invest in electric vehicles with standard safety features.Both the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure and Jobs Act should help accelerate EV production and infrastructure. To help New York City and State reach its goal of an all electric school bus fleet by 2035, Green Island EV CO was founded to manufacture EVs for New Yorkers, by New Yorkers.