Are Cuomo, MTA on the same page when it comes to electric buses?

Governor Cuomo has promised that all transit providers in the state will operate 100% electric bus fleets by 2035.

Reading the MTA’s upcoming February 23 announcement for a public hearing to discuss their potential Federal Transit Administration 2021 project program revealed some inherent conflict in the achievement of Cuomo’s goals. Here is the link to the document

There are three projects under NYC Transit Bus Replacement: (1) T7030216 45 standard electric buses for $ 54.20 million, (2) T8030201 standard electric buses for $ 70 million, and (3) fully articulated electric buses for 103 million . USD. The $ 20 million (4th) T8030205 Express buses appear to be non-electric.

As part of the MTA bus replacement, there is a U8030202 project to purchase 110 standard buses for USD 20.90 million, which also appear to be non-electric.

MTA Bus represents the seven privately owned franchise bus companies of New York City, Green Bus Lines, Jamaica Buses, Triboro Coach Corporation and Queens Surface, the services in Queens, Command Bus (Brooklyn), Liberty Lines Bronx Express and New York Bus Service (Bronx ) to offer. their buses, facilities and routes were relocated from NYC to the MTA in 2005.

It is managed as a separate operating unit by the bus divisions NYC Transit and Manhattan Bronx Surface Transportation Operating Authority.

Why is NYC Transit asking for $ 20 million and MTA Bus asking for $ 20 million for non-electric buses?

The federal grant application process known as the tram can take an average of up to six months from start to finish. Financing under an approved, binding free trade agreement for MTAs may not be possible until the fourth quarter of the federal financial year (July 1, 2021 – September 30, 2021). The process is subject to the FTA’s Transit Award Management System (known as “TrAMS”), with which federal grants are awarded and administered.

FTA provides MTA pre-award authority. This gives MTA the opportunity to incur costs before the approval is granted. In normal times, the MTA would use this option. Due to the MTA’s ongoing financial crisis, they may not have the cash flow to raise funds before the grant is approved.

A procurement process from the development of offer specifications to advertising, the issuing of supplements and opening responses to the award of offers to a bus manufacturer takes an average of six months to a year from start to finish.

Supplier production from start to finish for construction, delivery, inspection and acceptance, followed by entering the sales service, averages two years. Non-electric buses funded under the FTA fiscal 2021 grant for MTAs may not join the revenue service until 2024. You will be in revenue service for 100% electric bus fleets after Cuomo’s promised 2035 date.

Buses have a minimum useful life of 12 years or 100,000 miles before they can be replaced according to the guidelines of the Free Trade Agreement. Many transit agencies, including MTAs, that have good and financed maintenance plans can operate buses for up to 15 years before they need to be replaced.

If the MTA NYC Transit and MTA Bus are serious about driving 100 percent electric, that would be accounted for in the MTA 2020-2040 20-year capital requirement plan.

Governor Cuomo and the MTA promised that this document would be released by December 2019. It is now 15 months late. Does the MTA refuse to release this document until it receives Cuomo’s blessing?

The MTA must also update its FTA bus fleet management plan. This document would provide information on future bus acquisitions, fleet size, and facility changes to manage a growing electric bus fleet.

The projects would also be included in the government-sponsored planning documents of the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (known locally as the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council). Cuomo promised the most transparent administration in history. This would include all government agencies and agencies such as the MTA. Commuters, taxpayers and transit attorneys expect no less.

Larry Penner

Big neck

(Larry Penner is a transportation attorney, historian, and writer who previously worked for the Federal Transit Administration, Region 2 office in New York.

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