- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) will operate an all electric bus route between Brooklyn and Long Island City. The program is intended to modernize the city's bus fleet and reduce emissions.
- The three-year pilot with Proterra will start by testing 10 electric buses and installing six charging stations. MTA plans to order 60 more electric buses after analyzing the results from the first phase of the pilot.
- The buses will provide customers with amenities such as Wi-Fi and USB ports.
This development is just the latest measure that Gov. Cuomo has pushed for making the state more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Last month he signed a bill for an energy storage plan and prior to that he launched a microgrid build-out to serve a government complex in the state capital. In November, Cuomo also requested additional private sector funding that would promote partnerships to grow clean energy projects.
Simultaneously, New York City has been on its own path toward modernizing and becoming more sustainable — which may further secure its position as a top smart city. The city council recently passed a bill to study the use of renewable fuels in ferries, and the MTA approved a contract in the fall to upgrade to a tap-and-go rail and bus fare payment system.
Beyond the environmental boon that comes with an electric bus fleet are added benefits for citizens. The electric buses run more quietly than traditional buses and therefore reduce noise pollution. The amenities inside the buses are also forward-thinking. Customer-centric features such as Wi-Fi and USB ports have the potential to attract new customers and boost transit ridership, which ultimately might lead to even fewer single-rider car trips.