New York Progressing on Bus Electrification Project with 53 Overhead Bus Chargers at MTA Depots

Sept. 26, 2023
The first phase of the project will build 67 overhead and cabled dispensers for the New York City Transit across five locations for 60 new electric buses

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced construction progress on 53 state-of-the-art overhead electric bus chargers at Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) depots in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn as part of New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) $54 million multi-year electrification project.

The project's first phase includes building 67 overhead and cabled dispensers for New York City Transit across five locations for 60 new electric buses expected to be introduced in early 2024.

The project will not only support MTA’s growing zero-emissions bus fleet throughout New York City but also reduce carbon emissions, address climate change, and serve as a model for other metropolitan bus fleet operators.

“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,” said Governor Hochul. “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.”

NYPA contractors have mounted the first of 17 pantographs on an overhead gantry at the Grand Avenue Bus Depot and Central Maintenance Facility in Queens. The project involved restructuring the bus depot to accommodate the overhead pantograph dispensers and specific lanes for charging electric buses.

While 14 pantographs are under installation in East New York in Brooklyn, one on-street pantograph charger is also being commissioned at the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza in Brooklyn for buses to top off their batteries while traveling.

Additionally, another 32 overhead and cabled dispensers will be installed at the Kingsbridge depot in Manhattan by October, and cabled chargers will also be deployed soon, with the entire project estimated to be completed by mid-2024.

The Power Authority is looking after the design, permission, and procurement processes while managing the construction, commissioning, and warranty of the projects.

The new infrastructure is part of MTA’s plan to upgrade its facilities to support the purchase of only electric buses after 2029 and transform its entire 5,800-bus fleet to zero-emissions vehicles by 2040.

With 60 buses expected to be introduced in 2024 by MTA, procurement for an additional 470 zero-emission, standard, articulated buses expected to enter service by 2025 and 2026 is in progress with supporting infrastructure to be installed at 11 depots covering all the five areas before the buses arrive.

The pantographs are devices mounted on overhead structures and connected to direct current fast chargers (DCFC).  A cable connects with electrical contacts on the roof of the bus to deliver power to recharge the onboard batteries. The overhead pantograph dispensers will work with buses from different manufacturers.

So far, nine pantographs have been installed for NFTA, and 27 more are under construction.