Electric buses getting a trial run between Long Island City and Brooklyn

The MTA will be running all-electric buses on the B32 line between Long Island City and Brooklyn.
Photo courtesy of governor’s office

The MTA will be introducing all-electric buses to a Queens-to-Brooklyn bus route as part of a pilot program.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Jan. 8 that the buses, leased from the manufacturer Proterra, will run on the B32 line between Long Island City and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The MTA will install charging stations at the Grand Avenue Depot in Maspeth and the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza to quickly recharge the buses between runs.

According to the governor, the MTA is giving these buses a three-year trial run as part of an ongoing effort to make its bus fleet more modern and eco-friendly. The authority is leasing buses from Proterra and another electric bus manufacturer, New Flyer, and will order an additional 60 all-electric buses based on the pilot program’s results.

Riders also stand to benefit with free Wi-Fi and USB charging ports available on the electric buses. This allows commuters to recharge their mobile devices while using them as they travel.

“As we overhaul and reimagine the MTA, we have an opportunity to not only modernize our bus fleet but to also reduce emissions that impact the environment and public health,” Cuomo said. “This new program helps the MTA secure a cleaner and greener future while leveraging the latest in innovative advancements to push New York’s transit systems into the future.”

The Q32 terminates in Long Island City at the corner of 21st Street and 44th Drive, close to the Citicorp Building. It connects riders with the E, G, M and 7 trains at the nearby Court Square station, as well as the Q67 and Q69 buses. The Q32 primarily runs on 11th Street and crosses the Pulaski Bridge into Brooklyn, connecting riders to Greenpoint and Williamsburg.

“As a hub of business and transportation, New York City is an ideal proving ground for both electric buses and the charging technology,” MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said. “As we continue to modernize our public transit system, the MTA looks toward a more sustainable future by continuing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and innovating in all of our operations.”