MTA rolls out new electric bus fleet for Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn

A fleet of 60 new electric buses will soon traverse across Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn along routes in low-income and minority communities, MTA officials said Tuesday.

The buses are part of the MTA’s goal of operating a 100% zero emission bus fleet by 2040, an initiative the agency said will avoid 500,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. The buses are paid for with nearly $70 million in formula funds from the Federal Transit Administration, including almost $20 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, officials said.

“I always say mass transit is the antidote to climate change,” MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said at a press conference Tuesday. “Zero-emission buses are key to our ability to improve air quality. They help reduce harmful pollutants and create better public health outcomes.”

Routes in neighborhoods that have struggled disproportionately with bad air quality will be the first to get the new buses, according to transit officials. Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, who attended the press conference Tuesday, said the buses were “a major step in reversing that injustice” in his borough and beyond.

“For generations, unchecked fossil fuel use has had disastrous impacts on our communities,” Richards said. “For the most marginalized communities like communities in Astoria, [also known as] ‘Asthma Alley,’ to Southeast Queens all the way down to the Rockaways. Today, we are taking a major step in reversing that injustice… efficient green mass transit is the great equalizer for these communities.”

The agency is also working with the New York Power Authority to build out infrastructure to power the buses, including 17 newly installed bus charge points at the Grand Avenue Bus Depot in Queens, the MTA said. Another 46 are under construction at the Herkimer lot in East New York in Brooklyn and the Charleston facility in Staten Island, officials said.

MTA officials said the new buses will be on the road by the end of the year, but did not say which specific routes they would be on.

Another order of 205 electric buses is expected to arrive in late 2025, according to MTA.

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