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Transitioning to a zero-emissions bus fleet

As part of our commitment to sustainability, the MTA will replace and transform its entire bus fleet with zero-emissions vehicles by 2040. This will reduce our carbon emissions, help slow climate change, and serve as a model for other diesel fleet operators.
Updated Sep 25, 2023
Three electric buses parked in a parking lot. The buses are blue.


  • Location
  • Type
    Infrastructure, Sustainability
  • Status

Area Map

40.864517265884, -73.833353555192


  • 2017-21: The MTA runs a pilot of 10 leased battery-electric buses, including installing chargers in depots and on route as necessary.
  • 2019: The MTA purchases 15 fully zero-emissions vehicles and installs 16 chargers.
  • 2023-2024: 60 battery-electric buses will enter service, with supporting infrastructure installed at 5 depots.
  • 2025-2026: 470 battery-electric buses will enter service, with supporting infrastructure installed at 11 depots
  • 2029: All new bus deliveries will be zero-emissions vehicles. 
  • 2040: Entire 5,800-bus fleet is made up of zero-emissions buses.

About the project

The MTA is committed to fighting climate change, and one way we’re doing that is by replacing our diesel-fueled buses with a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040.

We have the largest public bus system in North America, so this path will have benefits far beyond the boundaries of New York City. Once complete, this change will avoid over 500,000 metric tons of carbon emissions every year. This will help New York State deliver on its larger carbon reduction goals: In 2019, the state legislature passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which seeks to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, and 85% by 2050. Our zero-emissions transformation will be an important part of achieving these targeted reductions.

This transformation will not inconvenience customers; the only thing you will notice will be the absence of exhaust and a quieter ride. In addition, the zero-emissions buses will be more reliable and have the same amenities as the diesel-fueled fleet.  

We are making an unprecedented investment to achieve this goal: $1.1 billion from the MTA’s 2020-2024 Capital Plan is dedicated to purchasing 500 new electric buses, associated charging infrastructure, and needed depot modifications. We plan to ensure that future Capital Plans will include appropriate investments to facilitate our goal of a 100% zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040.

Our partners in this project include: bus manufacturers to deliver safe, structurally qualified buses; charger manufacturers to deploy the most efficient, standards-based equipment at our depots; Con Edison, working with NYPA, to electrify our depots; NYSERDA to foster, develop and test innovative zero-emissions solutions; and community groups to provide feedback and guidance on the rollout. 

Project benefits

  • Avoids over 500,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases each year when all 5,800 buses are converted
  • Eliminates the exhaust and associated pollutants of burning diesel fuel
  • Better for customers’ health
  • Quieter, exhaust-free rides

An electric bus at a charging station.

Our goals

The transformation to a 100% zero-emissions fleet will be guided by these goals:

Prioritize environmental justice: We are committed to prioritizing the deployment of zero-emissions fleets to traditionally underserved communities, especially those that are most impacted by poor air quality and climate change yet rely the most on bus service.

No impact on customer service: The shift to all-electric buses won’t negatively affect the quality of our bus service. The only changes customers should notice will be the absence of exhaust and a quieter ride. The comfort, reliability, speed, safety and amenities of the electric fleet will all be the same or better than the diesel fleet.

Minimal impact on operations: We will have roughly the same number of buses as we do now, so we can schedule and plan routes optimally for our customers. Bus range must be long enough and recharge times short enough to allow flexibility. The buses and chargers need to be reliable so depots don’t need to do a lot of repair work and we can get buses out the door on time.

Reduce costs and complexity: As with anything new, we must look for ways to reduce our capital and operating costs without limiting operations or impacting the project timeline. That means trying new technologies, running pilot programs, and learning and incorporating important lessons along the way.

Empower our workforce: Our workforce has been safely operating and maintaining diesel, hybrid-electric, and CNG propulsion-based buses for many years. We will ensure they are trained and supported to operate and maintain zero-emissions buses seamlessly and safely.

Learn more about the transition to zero-emissions buses