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MTA Will Test Electric Buses from Proterra and New Flyer

Proterra electric MTA bus
Proterra electric MTA bus via ny.gov

Aiming to reduce emissions and improve air quality, the MTA announced an upcoming three-year test of electric vehicles.

Two manufacturers will provide five buses each for the MTA test, covering routes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Buses from Proterra will serve the B32 route and New Flyer buses will serve the M42 and M50. In addition, the two bus types will recharge at different locations, including "en-route" high-speed chargers that will test whether the buses could function 24 hours a day by recharging in small increments while stopped instead of returning to a central location.

Overnight chargers for Proterra buses will be at Grand Avenue Depot in Maspeth, with an en-route charger at Williamsburg Bridge Plaza in Brooklyn. New Flyer buses will recharge at Michael J. Quill Depot in Manhattan, with en-route chargers on East 41st Street and West 43rd Street.

Proterra electric bus recharging station via ny.gov

Also announced today are 110 new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses that will be larger 60-foot versions of the standard 40-foot buses and will replace older buses in the MTA fleet.

With these 10 buses, New York City will dip its toe into electric public transportation, putting it in the same league as Atlanta, GA and Louisville, KY.

Learn more about Proterra's buses in this video from Jay Leno's Garage.

Interestingly, the MTA already tested another electric bus made by BYD back in 2013, and the results showed that the BYD model could handle 30 hours of typical city bus driving before needing to recharge. BYD is a Chinese manufacturer, but recently opened a California manufacturing plant, and no indication was given as to why BYD wasn't included in the current electric bus test.

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