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NYC Transit President Participates in White House Roundtable on Efforts to Meet National Climate and Equity Goals with Cleaner Buses

Updated February 7, 2024 3:30 p.m.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit (NYCT) President Richard Davey today participated in the White House Roundtable on Clean Bus Manufacturing in coordination with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The roundtable focused on U.S. capacity to manufacture clean transit buses at a scale and pace that is necessary to meet market demand and achieve nationwide climate and equity goals.

Davey, who co-chaired a national task force on U.S. bus manufacturing, presented recommendations alongside Chicago Transit Authority President Dorval Carter for ways to strengthen bus manufacturing in the U.S. A strong American bus manufacturing base is critical to meeting the aggressive targets the MTA and other transit agencies across the country have set for converting their bus fleets to cleaner buses.

“Zero-Emission buses are at the core of New York City Transit’s future, but to fulfill our pledge of a 100% clean bus fleet by 2040, we need a pool of vendors ready to supply thousands of buses in the coming years as we ramp up this transition,” said NYCT President Richard Davey. “Thankfully, the Biden Administration and the FTA have made this a priority, and today’s roundtable is the latest milestone in our collective effort to build the national manufacturing capacity needed to decarbonize our nation’s bus fleets. Buses are engines of equity, and delivering clean and modern buses to the over two million New Yorkers who ride every day will not only help us fulfill our climate goals but also deliver greener and better bus service across the five boroughs.”

“As the number of domestic bus manufacturers continues to decline, the nation’s public transit agencies’ need for buses, especially zero-emissions buses, continues to grow—an untenable circumstance that we are working to address,” said Chicago Transit Authority President and Immediate Past Chair of APTA and Chair of APTA’s Bus Manufacturing Task Force Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “Our final recommendations will offer ideas that confront the issues manufacturers find most challenging and reduce obstacles to increased zero-emission bus production.”

Last April, the Authority committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2040, the same year the MTA has pledged to have its entire bus fleet converted to zero emission alternatives. The MTA has the largest bus fleet in the nation with 5,840 buses and serves a ridership greater than the next three largest bus agencies combined. The Authority currently has approximately 1,300 low-emissions hybrid buses in its fleet, including 399 second generation hybrid buses which run on battery-only electric vehicle (EV) mode a portion of the time, greatly reducing fossil fuel usage, and 15 all-electric buses.

Beginning in Fall 2024, 60 battery-run electric buses will begin arriving at multiple depots across all boroughs, with prioritization given to environmental justice communities, putting green buses on the roads of neighborhoods that will most benefit from these clean and efficient vehicles.

Additionally, in December 2023, the MTA Board approved the purchase of 429 new buses for $552.8 million that will replace buses that have reached the end of their useful life. The purchase includes 205 low-floor battery-electric buses with two options for up to 1,215 additional battery-electric buses and 224 low-floor 60-foot clean diesel buses with two options to purchase up to 446 additional 60-foot clean diesel buses. The battery electric bus purchase, part of the MTA’s current capital plan, was made whole with support from the $116 million in federal low-or-no-emission grant funding via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – supporting the Authority’s commitment to transitioning to a fully zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040.

Projected delivery for the first of the 205 battery electric buses is slated for 2025, with production deliveries beginning later that year.

Organizations in attendance in addition to New York City Transit included representatives from New Flyer Industries, GILLIG, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), White House Climate Policy Office, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, National Economic Council, White House Infrastructure Implementation Team and Center for Transportation and the Environment.