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June 27, 2022 - 5:43pm

WNY Bus Sales breaks ground on facility designed to help school district convert to electric fleets

posted by Howard B. Owens in New York Bus Sales, GCEDC, business, news, notify, batavia.

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Press release:

New York Bus Sales broke ground on a $4.5 million multi-use 20,000 sq. ft. facility today at West Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the town of Batavia. The facility will include office and training space and repair and storage areas.  It is intended to support school districts and bus operators across Genesee County and the Western New York and Finger Lakes regions convert their fleets from diesel fuel to all-electric.  The project has also pledged to create 24 full-time jobs.

Based in Chittenango, New York Bus Sales is one of the largest Blue Bird school bus dealers in North America. The company’s facility will service customers, including school districts to help transition their bus fleets from diesel fuel engines to all-electric bus fleets. New York has mandated that the approximately 50,000 school buses in the state by 100 percent electric by 2035.

“New York Bus Sales is excited to be leading the charge on school bus electrification in New York State and truly appreciates everyone at the Genesee County Economic Development Center and National Grid for helping make this first-of-its-kind project a reality,” said Sean Finnerty, President, New York Bus Sales.  “As the state begins converting its school bus fleets to all-electric, New York Bus Sales is proud to be at the forefront of this very exciting journey and looks forward to helping school districts across Western New York make the transition to all-electric school buses.  Genesee County’s favorable business climate and its central location between Buffalo and Rochester made Batavia an ideal location for our new facility.”

The GCEDC board of directors approved a request by New York Bus Sales for approximately $400,000 in incentives and National Grid assisted in the installation of charging stations and technology as part of the company’s DCFC Per-Plug Incentive Program.

“New York Bus Sales is yet another project as part of the emerging green economy in Genesee County as evidenced by the current construction of Plug Power’s green hydrogen facility at STAMP, the opening of a research and development facility for more efficient and renewable wind turbine bases in Bergen, and various solar projects across the county as well as other projects in the pipeline,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde.

“Our Make-Ready Program provides a range of technical assistance and funding for electric vehicle charging projects across our upstate New York service territory,” said National Grid Regional Director Ken Kujawa. “Working with New York Bus Sales is a great example of a company making a commitment toward innovation and sustainability while reducing greenhouse gas emissions while supporting New York State’s climate emission mandates.”

One of the first electric school buses will be delivered this summer to the Lake Shore School District in Erie County. The school district received funding from the Truck Voucher Incentive Program through NYSERDA. Electric buses are nearly identical to diesel engine buses, with the new EV vehicles have a quieter engine along with more technological capabilities and most importantly, significantly reducing emissions.

Top photo: Ken Kujawa, WNY regional director for National Grid, Greg Post, Town of Batavia supervisor, Shelley Stein, chairwoman of the Genesee County Legislature, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, State Senator Ed Rath, GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde, and John Johnston, VP of New York Bus Sales. 

Photos by Howard Owens

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Steve Hyde

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John Johnston

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Greg Post

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Shelley Stein

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