A major charging infrastructure project advances the Metropolitan Transportation Authority‘s phase-in of a fully electrified bus fleet. On the occasion of Climate Week, Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the progress of construction of 53 state-of-the-art overhead electric bus chargers at Metropolitan Transportation Authority depots in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn.

In celebration of Climate Week, Governor Kathy Hochul today announced construction is progressing on 53 state-of-the-art overhead electric bus chargers at Metropolitan Transportation Authority depots in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. The first phase of the multi-year project, managed by the New York Power Authority, includes building a total of 67 overhead and cabled dispensers for New York City Transit across five locations to prepare for 60 new electric buses expected to arrive early next year. The modernized electric infrastructure will support the MTA’s growing zero-emissions bus fleet throughout New York City, reducing carbon emissions, addressing climate change and serving as a model for other metropolitan bus fleet operators.

“Electrifying our metropolitan bus fleets in the greatest city in the world enables us to showcase New York’s leadership when it comes to climate actions that will have a lasting impact”, Governor Hochul said. “The progress at these in-city bus depots is the latest example of New York building clean energy infrastructure that will improve our air quality and benefit communities that have borne the brunt of a fossil-fuel economy. This major transformation of our bus fleet will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide system efficiencies, and enable our transition to a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040”, added.

Bus Electrification Project Progress With 53 Overhead Bus Chargers

Advancing the $54 million electrification project, NYPA contractors this week mounted the first of 17 pantographs on an overhead gantry at the Grand Avenue Bus Depot and Central Maintenance Facility in Queens. This major project involves restructuring the bus depot to accommodate the overhead pantograph dispensers and specific lanes for electric buses to charge. In a related initiative, fourteen pantographs are being installed in an outdoor lot in East New York in Brooklyn and a single on-street pantograph charger for buses to “top-off” their batteries in between daily runs is being commissioned at the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza in Brooklyn. Installations of another 32 overhead and cabled dispensers will begin within the next month at the Kingsbridge depot in Manhattan, which primarily serves the Bronx, and Charleston depot in Staten Island. Deployment of several cabled chargers are also underway. All work is set to be complete by mid-2024.

The new infrastructure is part of MTA’s plan to upgrade its facilities to support its commitment to purchase only electric buses after 2029 and to transform its entire 5,800-bus fleet to zero-emissions vehicles by 2040. MTA is one of the leading operators of electric buses in the state with about 15 electric buses currently in operation and 60 buses arriving in 2024. In addition, procurement is underway for an additional 470 zero-emission and standard and articulated buses slated to enter service over the course of 2025 and 2026. Supporting infrastructure for the 470 buses will be installed at 11 depots spanning all five boroughs in advance of the buses arriving on property.

The pantographs being installed are devices mounted on overhead structures and connected to direct current fast chargers (DCFC). When a bus parks underneath, a cable allows them to mate with electrical contacts on the roof of the bus to deliver power to recharge the onboard batteries on the bus. The overhead pantograph dispensers will work with buses from different manufacturers.
The MTA’s work, as well as an ongoing project with Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) in Buffalo, are the first pantograph bus charging projects, in bus depots, in the Northeast.

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