A brand new electric bus made its first trip through 14th Street on Sunday morning. It’s one of 15 all-electric articulated buses added to the M14 route.
“Today is a milestone in our Fast Forward Plan,” said Andy Byford, the NYC Transit president and CEO.
It’s part of the agency’s move to modernize the bus fleet and its commitment to an all-electric fleet by 2040.
The agency says each bus costs $1.4 million and will save an estimated 8,000 gallons of fuel per year.
“It’s the right thing to do, and it’s our demonstration, our commitment to the environment and to New Yorkers across all five boroughs with state-of-the-art vehicles to cut our carbon footprint still further,” Byford said.
The all-electric articulated buses, which are buses connected in the middle with a joint, are added to 10 standard all-electric buses the MTA leases as part of a three-year pilot program launched in 2018 to test the all-electric technology.
Next, the agency plans to spend $1.4 billion from the 2020-2024 capital plan to purchase 500 electric buses. The goal is to purchase only electric buses by 2029.
“This shows that we are deadly serious about moving to an all-electric fleet,” said Byford.
“We are working closer to Con Ed, NY Power Authority, and others to learn about charging strategies and providing charging infrastructure throughout the city,” said Craig Cirpriano, the acting president of MTA Bus Company.
The 15 new buses travel up to 90 miles on a single charge and can plug in at Michael J. Quill Bus Depot or at any of the previously installed charging stations in Maspeth, Queens, Williamsburg Bridge Plaza in Brooklyn, or in Manhattan on East 41st or West 43rd Streets.
Since implementation of the 14th Street Truck and Transit Priority lanes limiting access to cars, the MTA says bus travel is faster and being selected by more riders even during peak periods.
Frank Plumari, a frequent passenger on the M14 route, says he’s noticed the improved bus service and will now look forward to improved air quality, too.
“It’s better for a lot of people’s health, too,” Plumari. “Because you’re smelling the smoke from the gas, and it’s much better for people’s quality of living in the environment especially in New York City.”