MTA issues RFP for Bronx electric bus depot development

March 23, 2022
The redeveloped depot, including the electric bus charging facility, will be the first of its kind in the Bronx.

A Request for Proposals (RFP) was published by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to facilitate the development of an electric bus charging facility on Gun Hill Road in the Baychester neighborhood of the Bronx.  

Accelerating the MTA’s delivery of bus electrification and a zero-emissions bus fleet, the RFP calls for proposals to develop the 550,000-square-foot, MTA-owned industrial land adjacent to the existing Gun Hill Road Bus Depot. This development will be required to include the construction of space for an electric bus charging facility as part of a larger industrial development. The completed depot will be the first of its kind in the Bronx.  

“This RFP is good for the residents of the Bronx, for New Yorkers and for the MTA,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “This two-part strategy will leverage private developer funds and project management to deliver a new, modernized electric bus charging facility. Public Private Partnerships of this kind deliver smart planning solutions and save taxpayer money.” 

The MTA has set a goal of reaching a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040. In 2021, the MTA ordered 60 fully electric buses, a pace that will accelerate as additional bus production, facilities and funding come online. This new electric bus charging facility will allow the MTA to accelerate the conversion of the other MTA bus depots in the Bronx to zero-emissions. 

“Industrial space options are increasingly rare in the Bronx, and New York City in general,” said MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “This property serves as the catalyst for the large-scale electrification of our diesel-powered Bronx bus fleet by providing swing-space to accelerate the conversion of our existing bus depots to electric power, making the Bronx an early beneficiary of carbon-free buses. Early interest from prospective developers indicate that this will be the greenest industrial facility in North America, which is exciting for Bronxites as we take combustion-engine vehicles out of circulation.” 

In addition to its direct benefits for the MTA’s electric fleet, the RFP will also encourage the selected developer to incorporate energy conservation and green technology into its development. With direct on/off access to Interstate-95, flexible industrial zoning with up to one million square feet of development potential and a level construction site, the property is ideally suited to meet the surging demand for modern industrial distribution space.  

The RFP will encourage this development to be green and will result in the installation of more electric vehicle technology within the larger development, as well as the placement of a solar panel array on the roof. Respondents could go as far as delivering a more ambitious urban zero-emissions industrial facility. 

MTA says this RFP is another example of the innovative approaches the authority is taking to leverage its existing assets to raise revenue and advance organizational priorities like electrification. The selected developer will fund the construction of the MTA facility and pay substantial ground rent towards MTA capital needs, supported by revenue that will be generated by the redevelopment of the under-utilized land. This RFP concerns only the unused development site at the south of the MTA’s property and will not impact the northwest portion of the site, which the MTA leases to a non-profit that provides little league baseball fields.  

Additional RFP information, including site plans, renderings, and potential massing diagrams, are available on MTA’s website. The MTA issued the RFP the week of March 14.