Queens residents will be among the first to board new state-of-the art MTA buses equipped with Wi-Fi, USB charging ports and digital information screens.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast announced on Tuesday the addition of 2,042 buses to the MTA transportation fleet over the next five years.
The new bus fleet comes with a $1.3 billion price tag, and will replace nearly 40 percent of the MTA’s current fleet. The first 75 buses will hit the streets next month on the Q10 route which serves JFK Airport, followed by the Q111, Q113 and Q114 routes serving Richmond Hill, South Jamaica, South Ozone Park, Springfield Gardens, Rosedale and Far Rockaway, according to a spokesperson for the MTA.
The buses will have a “distinct new look and feel” and include 35 to 55 USB ports throughout each bus. The pilot program to install LCD digital installation screens on 200 buses will begin this year. The screens will display automated stop announcements, available transfers at each stop, news, weather, advertising and real-time communication from the bus command center.
“We’re reimagining the MTA to improve services for all New Yorkers,” Cuomo said in a press release. “Today’s world demands connectivity, and we’re meeting that challenge with state-of-the-art buses and a major overhaul of the MTA’s fleet. This upgrade will create a stronger, more convenient and more connected mass transit system for years to come.”
New York State is contributing $8.3 billion while the MTA Capital Program has budgeted $26.1 billion for the new buses. All of the new buses will be equipped with Wi-Fi hot spots by 2017, while all express buses will be retrofitted with Wi-Fi and USB charging ports by 2020.
In the next two years, another 70 buses will begin operating in Brooklyn, 209 in the Bronx and 18 in Manhattan. The remaining new buses will be assigned to routes throughout the five boroughs between 2018 and 2020.