Out with the old, and in with the new: The Electrification of New York City Buses
As many may know by now, the largest transit agency in North America (MTA New York City Transit and Bus Company) has begun the process of implementing an all-electric bus fleet by January 2040.
The MTA recently retired the last of its “Legendary” RTS buses, and has vowed to have a fleet consist of 100% electric buses.
The current roster includes a test fleet of 10 leased buses that have been used to evaluate electric operations in NYC’s demanding environment. These test buses that are being used for final audit and decision making for the upcoming fleet of 45 standard buses that will begin delivery in 2020. The New Flyer test units were used as audit buses for the upcoming articulated order as well.
As of press time, the 10 test units operate out of the Michael J. Quill Depot in Manhattan, and the Grand Avenue Depot in Maspeth Queens. Currently on order is MTA’s first ever production electric-bus . These buses are expected to begin delivery in October, and will be deployed out of the Quill depot for the newly minted M14 Select Bus Service. In addition, at least 1 bus will be used for duty-cycle testing and evaluation throughout all 5 boroughs to ensure a smooth transition into electric operations agency-wide.
Installation of 16 in-depot chargers will begin July, and are scheduled to be complete by September, just prior to delivery of the lead bus. In order to expedite delivery of the 15 buses, MTA elected to use bus #0011 as the test pilot for the articulated order, thus only requiring a lead bus which will be used for audit inspection of the order. The lead bus is expected to complete qualification and in-service testing in as little as 30 days with the next 3 buses to begin immediate delivery at that time.
Over the next 5 years, MTA plans to introduce 500 all-electric buses into the fleet. BYD, Gillig, and NovaBus all plan to have offerings for MTA in the near future. These buses would have to undergo standard test an evaluation procedures to be approved for MTA operations.
In the meanwhile, MTA is in the process of ordering 275 additional hybrid -electric buses to replace the oldest buses in the fleet.