NYC bus electrification project making progress

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Construction is progressing on a state-of-the-art bus electrification project that will lead to 53 overhead bus chargers being built in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

The charging infrastructure project is part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s move to a fully electrified bus fleet. When completed, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) will manage 67 overhead and cabled dispensers for New York City Transit across five locations to prepare for the 60 new electric buses expected to arrive in 2024.

“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,” Hochul said on Sept. 22. “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.”

As part of the $54 million electrification project, NYPA mounted the first of 17 pantographs on an overhead gantry at the Grand Avenue Bus Depot and Central Maintenance Facility in Queens last week, officials said. The project involves restructuring the bus depot to accommodate the overhead pantograph dispensers and specific lanes for electric buses to charge in. Another 14 pantographs are being installed in Brooklyn, and a single on-street pantograph is being commissioned at the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza in Brooklyn, officials said. Another 32 dispenser installations will begin within the next month in Manhattan and Staten Island. Work is set to be completed in 2024.

“Installing electric bus chargers is a major step in the MTA’s ambitious plan to transition to a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040,” MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said. “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.”