On 23 April 2018, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority launched its bus action plan, and with it a commitment to convert its public bus system to an all-electric fleet by 2040. ALIGN joined other organizations in welcoming the move and in looking forward to work with the MTA to define a clear set of policies and benchmarks for this transition:
Transportation Allies Issue a Joint Statement Following Today’s MTA Announcement of The Bus Action Plan
New York, NY– The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced that it will transition its 5,000+ bus fleet to 100 percent zero-emission electric buses. As allied transportation advocates we are pleased to see that the MTA has taken a big step toward improving its efficiency. The MTA Action plan represents a good first step to reducing emissions and negative health impacts to commuters. This effort is appropriate in the home of The People’s Climate March.
The transition to electric transportation addresses the biggest source of climate pollution in New York State and the US and would mark the single biggest fleet transition in the country. The transition will also be a significant driver in the market for EV buses, while also signifying our collective resistance to regressive federal policies that aim to maintain a dangerous addiction to fossil fuels.
We look forward to working with the MTA to define a set of policies and specific benchmarks that establishes high road jobs standards, a just transition, and a targeted phase-in prioritizing electric bus routes in transit deserts and communities most impacted by diesel emissions by modernizing our bus fleet.
“Our public bus system is a vital source of mobility for low-income New Yorkers of color. At 66% of all bus commuters, they represent the overwhelming majority of people who depend on buses to get to school and work, to doctors appointments, and to visit family and friends. They deserve buses that are reliable and do not pose negative threats to their health. These communities have been overburdened by noxious emissions for too long. The result has been higher rates of asthma and asthma-related hospital visits. Today’s announcement by the MTA signals to us that the Authority has heard our call for a clean bus fleet. We are pleased to receive MTA’s commitment to zero-emissions and applaud their efforts.” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
“The Sierra Club applauds the New York MTA announced intention to transition to a zero emissions fleet, a move which will help New York reach its emission reduction goals. New York City was recently listed by the American Lung Association as being among the top ten most polluted cities. Electrification of MTA’s fleet will help clean up the City’s air quality and dangerous emissions that harm New York families and communities. We look forward to working with the MTA and community partners to establish a target date that coincides with benchmarks set by the City and the State to reduce emissions and make the electrification of MTA’s bus fleet a reality” said Kat Fisher, Lead NY Electric Vehicle Organizer of Sierra Club
NY Jobs to Move America Director, Omer Khwaja applauds the MTA for its commitment to electrifying the largest bus fleet in the nation, “We look forward to partnering with MTA to develop an inclusive, transparent, process that is accountable to workers, riders, and neighborhoods most impacted, ensuring that all communities are benefited.”
“We’re excited to see the MTA commit today to transitioning away from diesel and natural gas buses to a new bus fleet that will run on clean energy. Every New Yorker–whether you ride the bus or not–should be thrilled that the MTA is committing to a fully emission-free bus fleet. This is a huge win for the health of every New Yorker, and we thank NYCT President Andy Byford and MTA Bus Company President Darryl C. Irick for putting forth a comprehensive, ambitious plan to fix New York City’s bus system and clean our air at the same time.” said Nick Sifuentes, Executive Director of Tri-State Transportation Campaign
“This announcement exemplifies what it means to put people and planet first. It has the potential to create hundreds of good, middle income, unionized jobs, while helping the city meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions by transforming to a fully emission-free bus fleet. We applaud the MTA’s commitment to transit equity, sustainability, and innovation” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director at ALIGN