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Kris Brain

Could MTA fiscal woes put the EV bus movement on hold?

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With the threat of the cash strapped agency running out of emergency relief funding in August, there is talk around the grapevine that a number of capital plans will be delayed indefinitely or scrapped altogether. Chief among them is the potential cancellation of an upcoming 650 bus order that includes 75 electrics and 23 express. Does anyone know what this order is or where it is in the books? More over, will the after effects of the pandemic lead to the shelving of ordering more electric buses for a while, possibly overshooting the  2040 deadline of full electric conversion? 

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5 hours ago, Kris Brain said:

With the threat of the cash strapped agency running out of emergency relief funding in August, there is talk around the grapevine that a number of capital plans will be delayed indefinitely or scrapped altogether. Chief among them is the potential cancellation of an upcoming 650 bus order that includes 75 electrics and 23 express. Does anyone know what this order is or where it is in the books? More over, will the after effects of the pandemic lead to the shelving of ordering more electric buses for a while, possibly overshooting the  2040 deadline of full electric conversion? 

I don't know the details of that order, but pretty much everything is at stake right now unless we get federal funding. Key word: unless, meaning we won't know until about a few months from now.

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All of this is going to depend on Congress helping the state out. Expect everything to presented as at-risk (nightmare subway service plans, etc.), but I'm cautious about thinking actual capital plans are gonna get thrown out the window in any form. Electric conversion is desirable for a number of reasons, also, so there are certain 'luxuries' (ESI stations, etc.) that might go first.

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I could see just the express buses being ordered, as those buses need to be replaced (along with a top-up order to replace all of the 3000-3474 batch of MCI buses). The 4300-4329 batch (28 buses remaining) could then be sent to either LaGuardia or Far Rockaway (each garage has only rush hour service assigned). The local buses will have to wait a bit longer.

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