Overhead chargers installed at MTA's Queens bus depot

Sept. 25, 2023
The project is part of a multi-year project preparing the MTA facilities to charge 60 new electric buses that are expected to arrive in early 2024.

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) depot in Queens saw 17 overhead electric bus chargers installed as work progresses on a multi-year project to integrate electric buses into MTA’s network.

The pantographs installed at the MTA depot, along with a project for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority in Buffalo, N.Y., are the first pantograph bus chargers in depots installed in the Northeast.

MTA has committed to deploying a 100 percent zero-emission bus fleet by 2040. The charger installation is part of a multi-year plan to deploy 60 zero-emission buses throughout the MTA system to serve New York City’s five boroughs.

New York City Transit Senior Vice President of Buses Frank Annicaro said, “Buses move over 1.5 million people daily, taking cars off the road and getting New Yorkers where they need to go. These pantograph dispensers will help the MTA deliver on the promise of a zero-emissions fleet by 2040 and reinforce the MTA as a leader in the fight against climate change.”

New York State Power Authority is managing the first phase of the project, which includes the overseeing the design, permitting and procurement processes, managing construction, commissioning and warranty for the project. The first phase will see the installation of 67 total overhead and cabled dispensers for New York City Transit at depots in Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and Brooklyn. The pantographs installed recently were at the Grand Avenue Bus Depot and Central Maintenance Facility.

“Working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to electrify the nation’s largest bus fleet supports New York’s goals to transition public buses, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and enables better air quality for vulnerable communities in close proximity to transportation facilities and beyond. The New York Power Authority is proud to work with the MTA to reshape and decarbonize public transit in urban areas and inspire other municipalities to follow suit. This work is truly transformative for mass transportation and once again New York is leading the way,” said New York State Power Authority President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll.

The $54-million project involves reconstructing the bus depot to accommodate the overhead pantograph dispensers and specific lanes for electric buses to charge. Installations of another 32 overhead and cabled dispensers will begin within the next month at the Kingsbridge depot in Manhattan, which primarily serves the Bronx, and Charleston depot in Staten Island. Deployment of several cabled chargers are also underway. All work is set to be complete by mid-2024.

“Installing electric bus chargers is a major step in the MTA’s ambitious plan to transition to a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040. Mass transit is the antidote to climate change, and I want to thank Gov. [Kathy] Hochul for her leadership in ensuring the MTA becomes a model transit system,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.