New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials said the agency will increase its today procurement of electric buses this year from 45 to 60 — representing a 33% increase and marking the latest step in the MTA’s ongoing mission to transform its 5,800 buses to a zero-emissions fleet by 2040.
The electric buses will operate out of each of the five boroughs with the first expected to hit the road in late 2022. The MTA already operates 25 all-electric buses, and the historic 2020-2024 MTA Capital Program includes $1.1 billion in funding to buy another 500 and build charging infrastructure at eight of the 28 depots where the agency stores and maintains its bus fleet.
The announcement comes as the MTA finalized a $39 million agreement with the New York Power Authority to install more than 50 overhead chargers to power new electric buses that will be coming next year to four MTA bus depots. Construction is expected to begin this fall at the Charleston, East New York, Grand Avenue, and Kingsbridge depots. A charger replacement at the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza — considered an “on-route” charger because buses will draw charges while they are briefly parked between runs — is part of these efforts. The on-route chargers will provide enough charge during the drivers’ rest periods to keep the bus operating for two full shifts per day. The total project is expected to take about a year to complete.
“The MTA is serious about delivering on the promise of a zero-emissions fleet by our 2040 target,” said Craig Cipriano, president of the MTA Bus Co. and sr. VP, buses, at MTA New York City Transit. “With state and federal support and resources, we expect this program is about to take off exponentially. The MTA is working with the industry every step of the way to meet our ambitious goal.”
In NYC, approximately 75% of MTA bus depots are in low/moderate-income communities and transit bus routes run disproportionately through these neighborhoods. Conversion to a zero-emissions fleet will help to significantly improve air quality and public health by reducing health outcomes like asthma.