September 22, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Bus Electrification Project Progress With 53 Overhead Bus Chargers

Governor Hochul Announces Bus Electrification Project Progress With 53 Overhead Bus Chargers

Major Charging Infrastructure Project Advances Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Phase in of a Fully Electrified Bus Fleet

Power Authority E-Mobility Engineers Oversee Bus Depot Charger Build-Outs

Photos of MTA Bus Garage Available Here

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In celebration of Climate Week, Governor Kathy Hochul today announced construction is progressing on 53 state-of-the-art overhead electric bus chargers at Metropolitan Transportation Authority depots in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. The first phase of the multi-year project, managed by the New York Power Authority, includes building a total of 67 overhead and cabled dispensers for New York City Transit across five locations to prepare for 60 new electric buses expected to arrive early next year. The modernized electric infrastructure will support the MTA’s growing zero-emissions bus fleet throughout New York City, reducing carbon emissions, addressing climate change and serving as a model for other metropolitan bus fleet operators. Justin E. Driscoll, President and CEO at NYPA, and Frank Annicaro, Senior Vice President, New York City Transit Department of Buses and MTA Bus Company, toured the Grand Avenue Bus Depot and Central Maintenance Facility in Queens today to witness progress as Climate Week comes to a close.

“Electrifying our metropolitan bus fleets in the greatest city in the world enables us to showcase New York’s leadership when it comes to climate actions that will have a lasting impact,” Governor Hochul said. “The progress at these in-city bus depots is the latest example of New York building clean energy infrastructure that will improve our air quality and benefit communities that have borne the brunt of a fossil-fuel economy. This major transformation of our bus fleet will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide system efficiencies, and enable our transition to a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040.”

Advancing the $54 million electrification project, NYPA contractors this week mounted the first of 17 pantographs on an overhead gantry at the Grand Avenue Bus Depot and Central Maintenance Facility in Queens. This major project involves restructuring the bus depot to accommodate the overhead pantograph dispensers and specific lanes for electric buses to charge. In a related initiative, fourteen pantographs are being installed in an outdoor lot in East New York in Brooklyn and a single on-street pantograph charger for buses to “top-off” their batteries in between daily runs is being commissioned at the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza in Brooklyn. Installations of another 32 overhead and cabled dispensers will begin within the next month at the Kingsbridge depot in Manhattan, which primarily serves the Bronx, and Charleston depot in Staten Island. Deployment of several cabled chargers are also underway. All work is set to be complete by mid-2024.

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “Installing electric bus chargers is a major step in the MTA’s ambitious plan to transition to a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040. Mass transit is the antidote to climate change, and I want to thank Governor Hochul for her leadership in ensuring the MTA becomes a model transit system.”

New York City Transit Senior Vice President of Buses Frank Annicaro said, “Buses move over 1.5 million people daily, taking cars off the road and getting New Yorkers where they need to go. These pantograph dispensers will help the MTA deliver on the promise of a zero-emissions fleet by 2040 and reinforce the MTA as a leader in the fight against climate change.”

The Power Authority is overseeing the design, permitting and procurement processes and managing the construction, commissioning and warranty of these transformative projects.

New York State Power Authority President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, “Working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to electrify the nation’s largest bus fleet supports New York’s goals to transition public buses, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and enables better air quality for vulnerable communities in close proximity to transportation facilities and beyond. The New York Power Authority is proud to work with the MTA to reshape and decarbonize public transit in urban areas and inspire other municipalities to follow suit. This work is truly transformative for mass transportation and once again New York is leading the way.”

The new infrastructure is part of MTA’s plan to upgrade its facilities to support its commitment to purchase only electric buses after 2029 and to transform its entire 5,800-bus fleet to zero-emissions vehicles by 2040. MTA is one of the leading operators of electric buses in the state with about 15 electric buses currently in operation and 60 buses arriving in 2024. In addition, procurement is underway for an additional 470 zero-emission and standard and articulated buses slated to enter service over the course of 2025 and 2026. Supporting infrastructure for the 470 buses will be installed at 11 depots spanning all five boroughs in advance of the buses arriving on property.

The pantographs being installed are devices mounted on overhead structures and connected to direct current fast chargers (DCFC). When a bus parks underneath, a cable allows them to mate with electrical contacts on the roof of the bus to deliver power to recharge the onboard batteries on the bus. The overhead pantograph dispensers will work with buses from different manufacturers.
The MTA’s work, as well as an ongoing project with Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) in Buffalo, are the first pantograph bus charging projects, in bus depots, in the Northeast.

NYPA completed a study with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to help five large upstate and suburban transit operators develop plans to convert to all-electric transit buses, including Suffolk County, Westchester County, CDTA (Albany), RTS (Rochester) and NFTA (Buffalo). Nine pantographs have been installed for NFTA with an additional 27 in construction.

For more information about e-mobility, visit NYPA’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure pages on its website.

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State's nation-leading climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York's unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 165,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2021 and over 3,000 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with nearly 400 registered and more than 100 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the state to help target air pollution and combat climate change.

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