Bill Memo: Green Transit Green Jobs
This legislation amends the transportation law, in relation to the purchase of zero-emission buses and amends the public authorities law and the general municipal law, to require transit authorities to purchase electric-powered buses and other related equipment, as part of the regular replacement of each system’s fleet, starting 2029. The bill provides labor protections to existing transit employees with collective bargaining agreements and requires the use of a best value procurement framework.
The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act — requires that the state reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 85%, below 1990 emission levels, by 2050. The transportation sector is both one of the most polluting sectors and “low hanging fruit,” ripe for decarbonization, as the technology exists today to electrify the sector’s low-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles. This legislation provides targeted tactics to help the state achieve its climate goals.
This bill requires that starting 2029, when purchasing new buses, public transportation systems must purchase zero-emission buses and related equipment. The bill requires that the Department of Transportation consider this requirement when formulating and dispersing its capital plans. Notably, the bill also provides labor protections to existing transit employees with collective bargaining agreements.
The transportation sector contributes to a third of total emissions in New York, a majority of which comes from on-road sources. The fine particulate matter produced by internal combustion engines enter and accumulate in the lungs and bloodstream, contributing to health issues for the state’s most vulnerable residents. New research confirms that “on a ton for ton basis, buses in the New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area had the largest health damages at $4 million for every ton of particulate matter emitted.”
The Green Jobs component of the bill uses a “best value” contracting framework and US Jobs Plan to purchase zero emission buses. This incentivizes bidders to compete by earning credit for proposals with good wages, benefits, and apprenticeship programs, as well as hiring underrepresented individuals and displaced fossil-fuel bus workers. Credits can also be awarded to manufacturers that commit to training programs identified in the Workforce Development Reports.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Substantial Benefit
Memo #: 34