PANYNJ to add 18 new electric buses at three airports in next six months

Dec. 28, 2018
The new vehicles are projected to save approximately 269 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and approximately 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) is adding 18 new electric buses to its three major airports within the next six months as part of its effort to enhance its environmental sustainability programs.

PANYNJ said this is the first step toward replacing all 36 current diesel regular shuttle buses over the next two to three years. The first six electric buses have been delivered and are in service at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Six buses have been delivered to Newark Liberty and are scheduled to be in operation early next year, while another six vehicles will be deployed to LaGuardia (LGA) by the summer of 2019. These programs include installation of new charging stations at each facility. 

“The port authority continues to act to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants from port authority facilities and activities,” said Executive Director Rick Cotton. “By expanding our use of electric vehicles and providing a more sustainable airport, we are continuing our commitment to reduce the agency’s carbon footprint.”

Proterra will supply the Catalyst® E2 vehicles and the buses will shuttle employees and customers to areas not served by Airtrain JFK and AirTrain Newark. The LaGuardia buses would be used to transport passengers and employees to all terminals and parking lots at LGA, where plans currently are under way for construction of an AirTrain LGA. 

"This deployment represents one of the largest commitments to zero-emission vehicles of any airport authority in the U.S., and we applaud the port authority's goal of converting their entire bus fleet to electric vehicle technology," said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra.

At each airport, the six battery-operated vehicles are projected to save approximately 269 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and approximately 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year. In addition, PANYNJ says the zero emissions buses will improve local air quality by eliminating the emissions of approximately 2,000 pounds of nitrous oxide and 150 pounds of particulate matter each year. Each bus has an estimated range of about 230 miles per charge, with each charge taking less than four hours.  

“Reducing greenhouse gases and air pollutants are key to the agency’s sustainability program, and will enhance our efforts to be a good neighbor in the communities where our facilities are located,” said Christine Weydig, director of the PANYNJ's Office of Environmental and Energy Programs. “All-electric buses at our major airports are an important element of our climate action strategy.”

The JFK buses were purchased with the help of rebates offered through the New York Truck Voucher Incentive program, which supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s clean energy goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide by 40 percent by 2030. The incentive program is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and has provided nearly 600 rebates in New York State since 2013.

“In our role as an integrator of these innovative technologies, we’re helping the port authority reduce its carbon footprint through this groundbreaking electrification project,” said Michael D. Smith, a senior vice president for Constellation, which is involved in the installation of the charging infrastructure.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction 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.