Shuttle bus fleets in New York to be 50% electric by summer

The Port Authority of New York and Jersey says that by the summer – 50 per cent of the bus fleets across its three major regional airports will be all-electric by the summer.

Recent arrival of six buses at Newark Liberty in addition to six at JFK and expected arrival by June of six more at LaGuardia, puts the agency ahead of schedule for full conversion of 36 shuttle bus fleet.

Key element of PA’s “Clean Dozen” sustainability program, rolled out with agency’s embrace of Paris Climate Agreement in October 2018.

Twelve of the buses already are in operation – six at Newark Liberty International and six at John F. Kennedy International. An additional six buses are coming to LaGuardia Airport by the end of June.

The 18 buses make up 50 per cent of the full fleet being converted from diesel to electric power. The Port Authority is now targeting the end of 2020 to have a 100-percent electric shuttle bus fleet, accelerating the agency’s original goal. New charging stations to power this first phase of electric bus deployment have been installed as part of the program at each airport.

The buses in the first deployment phase will save approximately 269 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and approximately 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel at each airport each year.

In addition, these zero emissions buses will improve local air quality by removing approximately 2,000 pounds of nitrous oxide and 150 pounds of particulate matter from the air each year.

The buses – battery-operated and 40 feet long — have an estimated range of about 250 miles per charge, with each charge taking less than four hours.

The electric bus program is a key component of the Port Authority’s “Clean Dozen” environmental and sustainability agenda, designed to meet the goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 35 per cent by 2025, and advancing its long-term goal of an 80 per cent reduction in all emissions by 2050.

The agency’s Clean Dozen initiatives were rolled out in October, at the same time the Port Authority Board of Commissioners embraced the Paris Climate Agreement, becoming the first public transportation agency in the United States to commit to the global climate agreement.

In addition to upgrading the airport shuttle fleet, the Port Authority has achieved a number of initiatives, including partnering with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) on development of 10 megawatts of on-site solar facilities at JFK, including a 5-megawatt community solar project offering low-cost renewable energy to local residents.Launching construction of a 1.6-megawatt solar carport at New York Stewart International Airport.

“The Port Authority’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and pursuit of aggressive GHG reduction targets are key to reducing the agency’s environmental impact on local communities and promoting sustainability at all of our facilities,” said board chairman, Kevin O’Toole.

“We’re taking action on sustainability, and our conversion to all-electric airport shuttle buses well ahead of schedule is a prime example,” said Port Authority executive director, Rick Cotton.

“In the past six months alone, we’ve not only reinforced our commitment to policies and strategies that will help the environment, but achieved significant results in our effort to make the spirit of the Paris agreement a reality for our agency and customers.”

The Port Authority-NYPA collaboration extends to another project at JFK – the airport’s first high-speed electric vehicle charging hub, consisting of 10, 150 kilowatt fast chargers conveniently located to serve private and rideshare drivers. These 10 stations will provide full recharge in 30 minutes or less.

The Port Authority also has signed five contracts – with AMERESCO, Con Ed Solutions, Constellation, Honeywell, and Willdan — to assist in a $100-million program to improve energy efficiency across Port Authority facilities. At New York Stewart, ForeFront Power, a leader in renewable energy development, is designing, building and will operate a $6 million, 450-space solar carport.