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New York MTA piloting hydrogen buses in the Bronx

An award of $8m from New York State will allow the Metro Transit Authority to deploy hydrogen fuel cell buses in passenger service by 2024.

November 28, 2022

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit (NYCT) has received an award of $8m from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as part of its Electric Truck & Bus Challenge grants.

The grant will enable the MTA to deploy the Authority’s first-ever hydrogen fuel cell buses, further advancing the MTA’s commitment to an all zero-emission bus fleet by 2040, according to a press release.

Two hydrogen fuel cell buses will be deployed, and the MTA will install a hydrogen fueling station capable of fueling up to 40 buses at the Gun Hill depot in the Bronx. The buses will run on approximately eight routes serving disadvantaged communities in northeast and central Bronx. The MTA has prioritized the deployment of zero-emission buses to environmental justice communities like those served by the Gun Hill depot, which have long-standing equity concerns on emissions and air-quality issues.

“Today’s award is a historic moment for New York City Transit, as we prepare to deploy the first-ever hydrogen fuel cell buses at the MTA and in all of New York State,” said NYCT President Richard Davey. “As the MTA boldly moves towards a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040, demonstrating that hydrogen is a feasible and effective complement to our existing and future battery-electric fleet is a crucial next step. This grant will help us successfully showcase the role hydrogen fuel-cell buses have in the MTA’s zero-emission future.”

The two hydrogen fuel cell buses will be 40-foot New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE H2 buses, with a range of over 300 miles. The buses will use hydrogen primarily produced with 100% renewable energy from hydropower. The deployment of buses is scheduled to operate in passenger service by the end of 2024 and will be subject to rigorous performance and reliability monitoring.

The MTA’s environmentally sustainable transit system allows the New York metropolitan region to avoid more than 17 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, or more than three times the annual greenhouse gas emissions of San Francisco. It also means New York State has the lowest per capita energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The commitment to an all zero-emission bus fleet by 2040 will make what is already the most sustainable way to get around the New York region even greener.  

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