MTA Press Releases

Press Release
January 29, 2020
IMMEDIATE
MTA Deploys Newest All-Electric Articulated Bus Fleet to Harlem

New Electric Articulated Bus Equipped with Luggage Racks Will Serve M60 Select Bus Service Route to Decrease NYC Transit’s Carbon Footprint 

Electric Articulated Pilot on M60 SBS to Test Range of Electric Bus Fleet on Longer Routes; Use of Greener Technology Benefits Thousands of Customers in Upper Manhattan, Western Queens 

2020-2024 Capital Plan Includes $1.1 Billion to Purchase 500 New Electric Buses to Serve All Five Boroughs 

Photos of the New Electric Articulated Buses are Available Here
 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the start of a new pilot program to bring its all-electric articulated bus fleet to the M60 Select Bus Service – one of the network’s longest routes -- to enhance and modernize the bus fleet with zero-emissions technology that will deliver environmental benefits for New Yorkers beyond the carbon emissions savings from taking public transit over using a personal vehicle. NYC Transit’s all-electric articulated buses represent its next generation of buses that will eventually serve all five boroughs thanks to funding from the MTA’s historic 2020-2024 Capital Plan.

“We’re very excited to bring our newest bus, an all-electric articulated vehicle, to the M60 Select Bus Service route where our Harlem and Astoria customers can benefit from its quieter, greener, zero-emissions technology,” said Craig Cipriano, Acting President of MTA Bus Company and Senior Vice President of NYC Transit’s Department of Buses. “With this new M60 pilot program on one of our longest service routes, we will test the range of the new fleet and the durability of the electric battery technology, which will inform our plans to buy more all-electric buses in the next few years.”

The MTA removes 17 million metric tons of carbon emissions from the air per year by providing public transit services as an alternative to personal vehicle use, and an all-electric bus fleet would further reduce New Yorkers’ carbon footprint. All-electric propulsion technology also results in quieter operations in addition to the benefits of zero tail-pipe emissions, which make it ideal for operating vehicles in densely populated areas such as New York City. All-electric buses use an electric motor powered by a battery pack, and its propulsion systems recapture energy normally wasted in braking. Articulated buses, which are higher-capacity 60-foot-long buses used on Select Bus Service as well as on higher ridership routes, are ideal for electrification when used in densely populated urban areas where carbon emissions and traffic noise are public concerns.

In January 2019, the MTA Board approved the purchase of 15 all-electric articulated buses, 16 in-depot chargers and one mobile charging unit from New Flyer of America Inc.  NYC Transit has taken delivery of five of the 15 buses so far, with four put into service on the M14 SBS route using newly installed charging equipment at the Michael J. Quill Bus Depot and existing on-street fast chargers on 42nd Street. The buses have 466kWh batteries with an expected range of 50 to 90 miles depending on weather, passenger load, operating speed, and street grade. As these vehicles are the MTA’s first articulated electric buses, pilot programs such as the M60 test will provide experience and data to confirm the range under various conditions in NYC Transit service. The M60 pilot includes one electric articulated bus fitted with luggage racks to accommodate weekday morning customers traveling to and from LaGuardia Airport, the M60’s Queens terminus. 

The MTA’s fleet of electric articulated buses are fully charged overnight at the Michael J. Quill Bus Depot, where new charging equipment installation is currently ongoing. Due to the long length of the M60 route – approximately 20 miles round trip – NYC Transit will closely monitor battery usage of the dedicated articulated bus with the eventual goal of completing 12 hours of continuous service without requiring additional charging.

The new electric articulated buses are the next generation of MTA buses as the MTA prepares to purchase 500 electric vehicles as part of its historic 2020-2024 Capital Plan and move toward an all-electric fleet by 2040. The MTA also operates a fleet of 10 electric standard buses, which are leased for a 3-year pilot program to test the all-electric technology for capability and durability of around-the-clock four-season usage. The data from that standard electric bus pilot helped inform the procurement process for NYC Transit’s recent Request for Proposals for a base order of 45 standard electric buses that will be put into service in all five boroughs upon delivery beginning late 2021. The 500 new electric buses funded by the 2020-2024 Capital Plan will be deployed in neighborhoods across the five boroughs as they are delivered, after bus depots are upgraded to accommodate the new technology.

“We’re glad to see the MTA extending electric buses up to 125th Street, bringing clean transit to neighborhoods that have borne the burden of vehicular pollution for decades,” said Nick Sifuentes, Executive Director of Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “Personally, as a Harlem resident who uses the M60 all the time, I’m excited to ride on brand-new, non-polluting buses. And the MTA’s commitment to expanding its electric bus fleet doesn’t just benefit New Yorkers—as the largest purchaser of buses in the United States, it sends a clear signal to bus manufacturers and transit agencies nationwide: electric buses are the wave of the future, and it’s time for us all to start the transition.”

“We are excited to see that the MTA is expanding its electric bus program with the addition of the M60 SBS route. The expansion will have a positive impact on the health of our communities, particularly in Harlem and Astoria, by reducing air pollution from diesel buses and creating a clean, accessible transportation option to and from LaGuardia Airport for all New Yorkers. NYLCV supports the MTA’s expansion of their electric bus network as they take important steps to expand their clean transportation infrastructure. We look forward to continuing our work together to achieve a cleaner, greener transportation sector for New York,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

“New York’s commitment to electrify the largest bus fleet in the United States by 2040 is an example to follow,” said Elizabeth B. Stein, Senior Manager and Senior Attorney, Energy at Environmental Defense Fund. “Electric buses on the M60 route to LaGuardia Airport by way of 125th Street in Harlem will help eliminate pollution in communities that experience some of the worst air quality and asthma rates in the city — and give LaGuardia Airport travelers an affordable, zero-emission ride to Manhattan.” 

“We celebrate the MTA’s shift to electric buses, and are particularly pleased that they have chosen Harlem’s 125th Street as one of the first routes,” said Cecil Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director & Director of Policy Initiatives at WE ACT for Environmental Justice (WE ACT). “By starting to shift the fleet from clean-fuel to electric buses, the MTA is going to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions – which should not only help reduce air pollution and lower asthma rates in our community, but will also help reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and address the climate crisis.”

Other bus service initiatives to improve service and speed up rides include redesigning every borough’s bus route network, implementing automated bus lane enforcement on fleet vehicles and streets, working with the New York City Department of Transportation through the expansion of transit signal priority and other transit priority features, and collaborating with NYPD to enforce bus lanes.

ABOUT M60 SELECT BUS SERVICE:

  • The route is one of the longest in the NYC Transit system, a roughly 20-mile round trip from 106th Street and Broadway, across 125th Street connecting with the Lexington Avenue 456 subway station and the Harlem-125 St Metro-North station, and through Astoria, Queens to LaGuardia Airport. A round trip takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes to more than 2 hours depending on time of day.
  • The M60 electric pilot program features one electric articulated bus that operates on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m., covering a range up to 68 miles.
  • Use of each electric articulated bus is estimated to save roughly 90 tons of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere each year, compared to a diesel bus. That savings is equivalent to the total annual emissions of 21 private vehicles driving 30 miles each day.
  • An electric articulated bus saves about 7,600 fewer gallons of diesel per year.
  • An M60 SBS route map is attached.

M60 route map.jpg