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Bemus Point To Hold Presentation On Electric Buses

BEMUS POINT — The Bemus Point Central School District will host representatives from Leonard Bus Company during its next regular school board meeting.

Leonard Bus Company, which the district has previously worked with for purchasing diesel buses, has put together a presentation on electric buses to help the school and surrounding community prepare for the transition that has been mandated by New York state.

The presentation will be made at the school board meeting set for 6 p.m. Monday in the Maple Grove High School cafeteria, 3980 Dutch Hollow Road.

Superintendent Joseph Reyda said the company is there to help the district learn and explain better what electric buses can and cannot do. The meeting, which is open to the public, is also to invite the community to see and hear what Leonard Bus Company has to say, along with hearing where the school is at in regards to its plan.

“They will discuss the physical logistics, how electric buses are different from diesel,” Reyda said. “We are going to discuss the planning process. Several districts are already in the process of purchasing electric buses, so we want to learn what they’ve learned.”

By 2027, all buses purchased by schools in New York state have to be electric. By 2035, every bus in school fleets have to be electric.

“Myself and the board felt that now was the time to have this presentation as we prepare for the transition,” Reyda said. “We are not planning on buying an electric bus next year, but we are planning on putting in a charging station.”

Reyda added that the transition financially is a concern as the Bemus Point School District does not necessarily qualify for grants and other financial help.

Since the mandate was issued by the state, Reyda said the school district has been looking at its bus routes and what infrastructure that may have to change. That includes having National Grid conduct studies of the electrical grid within the village. Another challenge for the district is that the bus garage is over by the Bemus Point Elementary School, which Reyda said is about 6 miles from Maple Grove High School.

“Anyone that is interested in learning more about the buses are welcome to come to the meeting,” Reyda said. “If you are interested in learning more about the district’s long range plan you are welcome to come. It is a complicated situation, and all districts will be different.”

Reyda expects the presentation to generate many questions, but said that he and school board members will do their best to find the answers, adding that it is a “challenge.”

“There’s been a lot of talk about the transition,” he said. “There are concerns in a number of different areas. Schools must move forward with what direction they are given from the state. It’s not easy but we have a knowledgeable board and we will do our best for the children and community. The more people that know about these buses the better.”

Reyda added that there will most likely be more meetings on this throughout the year.

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