Just as the MTA plans to update its subway system by replacing the MetroCard with OMNY, it will replace its diesel and CNG bus fleets with all electric ones!
The MTA’s sustainable vision to introduce an all electric, zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040 will be executed in four stages. Back in 2017, the MTA began piloting 10 leased battery-electric buses.
Since then, the MTA has made major milestones in the process with much more to come in the years ahead. 15 fully zero-emissions vehicles were purchased in 2019 and by next year, 60 battery-electric buses will begin servicing passengers. By 2026, the MTA hopes to bring 500 battery-electric buses into service. Afterwards, all new bus deliveries will be zero-emission vehicles by 2029. And by 2034, 60% of the fleet will be zero emissions.
Transitioning into a 5,800 zero emissions bus-fleet by 2040 will ensure cleaner air, decreased reliance on fossil fuels, and a strong and sustainable transit system for future New Yorkers. In fact, MTA’s bus system is actually the largest public bus system in North America. Therefore, these impacts will extend far greater than the city itself.
According to the MTA, by 2040, the new fleet will curb over 500,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. Plus, the electric buses will be quieter than the diesel buses, promising a more relaxing rider experience.
New workforce knowledge and skills will inevitably be needed, primarily for safety, bus maintenance, facility maintenance, and dispatch operations. Training programs and plans for a Zero-Emissions Center of Excellence will help prepare staff for such changes.
In total, the cost of the entire transitional project is expected to reach $23.7 billion.
Yet, with all this planning, NYC may not be fully ready by 2024. There are currently 15 electric buses that are in service. However, according to NYC Transit President, Rich Davey, “The market doesn’t quite yet have what we believe is a reliable electric 60-foot bus… There are a couple out there, but we’re not feeling quite confident enough yet to invest in those.”
Even so, the MTA board ordered 18 electric articulated buses in a $286 million order just last week. That’s all in addition to a larger order placed in 2021 for 60 40-foot electric buses in the fall of 2024.
Keep checking back for more updates in the transformational project.