DELMAR — The arrival of Bethlehem Central’s five new electric buses has been pushed back from next January to possibly April, according to District Superintendent Jody Monroe.
Monroe shared news of the delay to the Board of Education trustees in her report on Wednesday, Dec. 1.
“Like everything with manufacturing and supply chain these days,” she said. “We’re hoping to have them by the beginning of April.”
Despite the delay, the new buses are still expected to join the fleet on time as dictated by Director of Student Transportation Karim Johnson. In August, Johnson anticipated their use during the upcoming 2021-22 school year. His framed his timetable accounting for supply chain related delays.
“As it is for manufacturing everywhere, there is a lengthy timeline from order to delivery. However, we are very optimistic we will have these vehicles on the road sometime in the new school year,” he said.
In May, Bethlehem was the first New York school district to seek approval from voters to begin a transition to electric vehicles. Voters approved a maximum of $1.475 million to purchase up to nine buses, including the five electric buses. Also approved as part of the bus proposition was $200,000 for necessary infrastructure, including charging stations, for the new electric school buses.
NYTVIP will provide Bethlehem with $200,000 per vehicle. The program makes it easier for municipal fleets to adopt clean vehicle technologies while removing the oldest, dirtiest diesel engines from New York roads. Bethlehem will be removing nine older diesel buses, purchased in 2009, from its fleet.