Reviewer + Excerpt: Site from a former Yorktown car dealership to the House State’s largest electric school bus company
This is a partial excerpt from an article first published in our Examiner+ email newsletter.
The state’s largest electric school bus company will relocate to the abandoned site of a former Yorktown auto dealership to provide new buses, district maintenance and charging, and to convert gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles .
Bird Bus is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year at 3805 Crompond Rd., the same location that has been empty for more than five years since a Kia dealership vacated the property. Robert Reichenbach, president of Bird Bus, based in Plainview, New York, said the service portion of the facility will likely be operational by November.
There are currently about 20 electric school buses from the company — which it calls Blue Bird — on the road in its operating territory, which includes Long Island, New York and Westchester, Reichenbach said. This number is expected to increase steadily in the coming years. New York State has required all new school bus purchases by districts to be electric vehicles by July 1, 2027. All school buses in use in the state must be electric by 2035.
Later this month, Bird Bus will deliver its first full-size electric bus to Croton-Harmon, Westchester’s first district with one of its buses in its fleet and a second vehicle by next spring, Reichenbach said. .
He said the company will have the only facility to service school district electric vehicles in the county.
“Moving to Westchester gives us a great opportunity to work with cities, work with local school districts, and convert all school buses on the road to 100% electric,” Reichenbach said.
Taking current gas-powered buses and turning them into electric vehicles will benefit districts and private bus operators who need to start changing their fleets in the coming years. Reichenbach said that currently a new full-size electric school bus costs between $400,000 and $420,000, but a conversion would cost about half that cost with a state subsidy.
He expects the company’s ability to convert buses from gas to electric to start by the end of 2023.
In preparation for the move, the current 16,000 square foot car dealership’s former building is being rehabilitated. It will contain five bays and room to store up to 10 buses inside, Reichenbach said. Construction crews raise the roof 10 feet to accommodate the height of the buses.
The nearly three-acre property could also hold 55 to 57 buses outside.
For Yorktown, rehabilitating the decaying structure, prominent on the busy Route 202 corridor, is a priority, said supervisor Matt Slater.
“We do everything…”
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