Mayor Adams announces $77M plan to boost city’s electric school bus fleet, build nation’s first truck charging depot in Hunts Point

Mayor Adams announced a $77 million plan, which would bring 180 new electric school buses to the city’s streets as well as an electric charging station in Hunts Point, on Monday, March 18, 2024.
File photo

A new environmentally friendly plan for the city recently announced by Mayor Eric Adams aims to nearly quadruple the current fleet of electric school buses and also create an electric vehicle charging station in the South Bronx, in an attempt to grow the city’s green economy while reducing its transportation emission levels.

On Monday, March 18, Mayor Eric Adams announced a $77 million plan which would add 180 new electric school buses to New York City’s existing fleet and also develop a new charging depot at the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center for electric vehicles.

The addition of 180 electric school buses will put cleaner, more environmentally friendly vehicles on the road and eventually result in cleaner, less-polluted air as the Bronx and the city continues to make adjustments in response to the global climate crisis.

The plan to also develop the new electric charging depot in Hunts Point, which would charge over 7,000 vehicles each year, was announced by Mayor Adams in his 2024 State of the City address back in January as part of the plan to grow the city’s green economy.

Once fully constructed, the nation’s first electric charging hub will be able to charge over 3,000 trucks as well as 4,000 passenger cars each year, which would eliminate an estimated 5.1 million tons of carbon dioxide.

The investment of $77 million in competitive grants from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which authorizes a total of up to $108 billion for public transportation nationwide, includes a $61.1 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Grant Program, along with a $15 million grant from the United States Department of Transportation Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program. Additionally, $1.5 million was also awarded to the city from the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation’s Ride and Drive Electric Program to support planning and coordination efforts to electrify the city’s electric school bus fleet.

“These grants will help us put more electric school buses on our streets, turn one of the world’s largest food distribution centers into one of the world’s greenest facilities, deliver cleaner air for our children and help undo a long history of environmental racism in the South Bronx,” said Mayor Adams. “I have always said that I am a five-borough mayor, and with this funding, we are building an even brighter future for the Bronx and our entire city.”

Mayor Adams’ plan includes the installation of 180 electric school buses on the city’s streets, nearly quadrupling last year’s installment of 51 electric school buses. File photo

This is the second round of Clean School Bus Program grants awarded to the city, following an $18.3 million grant for 51 electric school buses last year, according to the Mayor’s Office.

“As the city is working to grow our green economy with assistance from our federal partners, we will continue to work with our colleagues in government to ensure the Bronx is not left behind,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson. “With the expansion of our electric school buses and electric vehicle charging, we are making an investment in not just our electric vehicle infrastructure but in decreasing harmful environmental pollutants that, for years, have contributed to poor health outcomes for our most vulnerable Bronx residents.”

Gibson added that communities within the Bronx will also reap the benefits of this initiative, after experiencing years of environmental inequities.

“Transitioning New York City school buses to electric and low-emission vehicles is healthier for our kids, our city and the planet,” said U.S. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York’s 14th Congressional District. “Particularly in the Bronx, which has some of the highest childhood asthma rates in the country, this funding will improve air quality not only for students but also for communities across the borough.”

Ocasio-Cortez also applauded the Biden administration’s commitment to environmental justice and public health.

Approximately 12% of Hunts Point residents suffer from asthma, which is the among the highest rates among neighborhood populations in the country, according to Mayor Adams’ office of Climate and Environmental Justice.

According to a 2021 data brief from the city’s Dept. of Health, children from the Bronx — particularly in the neighborhoods of Hunts Point, Mott Haven, Highbridge and Morrisania — have higher rates of asthma compared to youth in other boroughs, as previously reported by the Bronx Times.

NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez is another supporter of the plan, stating that the installment 0f new electric school buses will also improve the health of young people in the Bronx and throughout the city, as part of the city’s comprehensive vision to decarbonize the transportation sector.

“We applaud the Biden administration for its vision to provide cleaner air and protect against climate change and we thank our federal, state and city partners for advocating for these critical investments,” Rodriguez said.

Reach Steven Goodstein at or (718) 260–8326. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes