Cuomo Kicks off All-Electric Bus Pilot Program  in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan

Cuomo Kicks off All-Electric Bus Pilot Program in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan

Courtesy of Proterra

The new zero-emission, all-electric buses will feature amenities such as Wi-Fi and USB ports.Courtesy of Proterra
The new zero-emission, all-electric buses will feature amenities such as Wi-Fi and USB ports.

By Forum Staff
Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced the start of a three-year pilot program for 10 all-electric buses with the goal of reducing emissions and modernizing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus fleet.
According to the State, after a study of best practices from systems across the United States and around the world, the MTA identified two vendors to manufacture a total of 10 all-electric buses, which were leased for test and evaluation over a period of three years in the New York City operating environment. The first of those vendors, Proterra, was selected to provide five over-night charging electric buses which will be operated on routes including the B32 in Brooklyn and Queens. The second vendor, New Flyer, will provide five buses that will be operated on the M42 and M50 routes in midtown Manhattan.
The new zero-emission, all-electric buses support environmental sustainability, are quieter than traditional buses, and will feature amenities such as Wi-Fi and USB ports, according to the administration.
Using lessons learned from the initial phase of the pilot, the MTA intends to order an additional 60 all-electric buses. Timing of the larger order will be dictated by the buses’ performance during the initial phase of the pilot.
“As we overhaul and reimagine the MTA, we have an opportunity to not only modernize our bus fleet but to also reduce emissions that impact the environment and public health,” Cuomo said. “This new program helps the MTA secure a cleaner and greener future while leveraging the latest in innovative advancements to push New York’s transit systems into the future.”
The three-year lease for the Proterra buses includes six depot charging stations, which will be installed in the Grand Avenue Depot in Maspeth, where the buses will be recharged overnight or mid-day. The first leg of the pilot will also include one “en-route” high-power charging station, which will be located at Williamsburg Bridge Plaza in Brooklyn, and be used to extend the range of the buses by quickly recharging without having to return to the depot. The plaza is the hub for nine routes that serve Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.
“As a hub of business and transportation, New York City is an ideal proving ground for both electric buses and the charging technology,” said MTA Chairman Joe Lhota. “As we continue to modernize our public transit system, the MTA looks toward a more sustainable future by continuing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and innovating in all of our operations.”
The program is intended to provide the MTA and manufacturers of electric buses with actionable data on what works best in New York’s metropolitan environment. The MTA will use the results from the pilot to refine and develop bus specifications for future electric bus procurements to ensure buses are fully able to meet the rigors of operating in New York City. As a result, the State noted, the initial lease and evaluation of buses does not eliminate any other builders from future competitive procurements.


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