The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced its commitment to reducing the emissions that result from operations of the authority’s trains, buses, and facilities by at least 85% by 2040 from a 2015 baseline.
At the same time, the authority released a new analysis showing that the MTA allows New Yorkers to avoid emitting 20 million metric tons of carbon annually, by keeping cars off the road, reducing congestion, and enabling high-density neighborhoods.
“There is no denying the urgent need to address the climate crisis, and the MTA is a double solution, first by providing New Yorkers with environmentally sustainable form of transportation, and second by finding innovative ways to reduce our own emissions,” said Janno Lieber, MTA CEO. “Now more than ever, New Yorkers can feel confident that by riding the MTA they are doing their own part to reduce climate impacts.”
The MTA said it will be able to achieve these emissions reductions without compromising the authority’s inherently sustainable mass transit operations.
MTA's Approach to Cut Emissions
Steps to slashing greenhouse gas emissions include:
- Updating Facilities: MTA will update legacy systems in shops, depots, yards, and stations, with energy-efficient tech and low- or no-emissions systems as part of its capital program investments. As an example, the MTA will upgrade HVAC and lighting systems to be more energy efficient, identify opportunities to transition away from fossil fuel heating systems where feasible and invest in solar panel installations on facility rooftops.
- Transitioning Fleets: The MTA will take steps to reduce emissions associated with all fleets. Notably, the MTA will transition its entire bus fleet of 5,800 buses to zero-emission alternatives by 2040. In 2019, the MTA purchased 15 electric buses and installed 16 chargers at the MJ Quill Depot. Work on the path to a full transition by 2040 includes taking delivery of the pilot buses from our 60 all-electric bus order, awarding the procurement of 470 all-electric buses, equipping bus depots with new charging infrastructure to support the MTA's growing electric bus fleet, and expanding a depot-based workforce training program for zero-emissions.
- Increasing Energy Efficiency: By using energy management technologies, regenerative energy, and power storage, and deploying on-site renewable energy installations. As an example, the MTA is already installing remote controls for third rail heaters to reduce energy usage, one of over 200 efficiency projects the MTA has already completed across its agencies.
“Subways and buses are moving over five million people daily, a feat that would take millions of cars to accomplish,” said Richard Davey, New York City Transit president. “Simply deciding to take transit daily is good for the environment. With New York City Transit’s commitment to a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040, that daily decision to take the bus or subway will get even greener.”