Gov. Cuomo Announces New Bus Roll Out

Earlier today, Gov. Cuomo announced the roll out of new buses equipped with charging ports & wi-fi service. Here is more via the official press release I received:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the first of 86 new buses equipped with Wi-Fi service and USB ports have arrived in Brooklyn, and that the first of 79 new buses have arrived in Manhattan. The new buses will replace nearly 40 percent of the MTA’s current fleet and represent a $1.3 billion investment of Capital Program resources.

The first 75 buses included in the plan went into service in Queens last year and in March, the first of 83 new buses equipped with Wi-Fi service and USB ports arrived in the Bronx. The new arrivals are part of a larger initiative, announced by the Governor in March 2016 that is revitalizing the MTA’s bus operations, with more than 2,042 state-of-the-art new buses joining its transportation fleet over the course of five years.

“These new, state-of-the-art buses will improve the standard of service for countless commuters and will help ensure the continued viability and reliability of the MTA’s bus fleet for years to come,” Governor Cuomo said. “In today’s ever-evolving world of technology, it is critical that we meet the demand for enhanced connectivity through a superior mass transit system – these buses are an important step forward in bringing the MTA into the 21st century.”

Additionally, the MTA is in the process of upgrading existing buses with Wi-Fi and USB charging ports. By the end of this year, all express buses will be retrofitted with Wi-Fi and USB charging ports. The buses will also feature bus operator partitions as well as cameras to enhance the safety of both bus operators and passengers.

“Today’s announcement shows continued momentum, but it’s just one part of a larger initiative to modernize the MTA’s entire bus fleet,” Ronnie Hakim, Interim Executive Director of the MTA said. “That broader program includes last month’s introduction of new Wi-Fi enabled buses in Queens and the Bronx, as well as tests of digital information screens, pedestrian turn warning systems and collision warning systems. Taken as a whole these innovations represent both an increased focus on our customers’ needs, and an entirely new way of doing business.”

Buses in Brooklyn

After the initial delivery of 3 buses, units will arrive at a rate of approximately 3 to 5 buses per week. All 86 buses will be in service by mid-October of this year, and will be based at the MTA’s Jackie Gleason and Grand Avenue Depots, running on the B4, B8, B9, B11, B16, B35, B37, B43, B61, B63, B67, B68, B69 and B70. These buses will support Phase 2 of the Bushwick Shuttle.

Buses in Manhattan

After the initial delivery of 3 buses this week, units will arrive at a rate of approximately 3 to 5 buses per week. All 79 buses will be in service by the end of this year and will be based at the MTA’s Tuskegee Depot, running on the M14, M15, M101, M102 and M103.

The addition of Wi-Fi provides a new level of connectivity to New Yorkers, bringing ease and convenience to those working, reading emails, or checking in on their social media accounts without impacting their cellular data plans. The number of USB ports on buses will range from 35-55, depending on the make and model, and will be conveniently located throughout the bus.

These upgrades are part of Governor Cuomo’s robust plan to fully transform the MTA into an innovative, state-of-the-art system with improved customer service and first-class amenities. Other elements of the broader enhancement program that focus on buses include:

• New Look SBS Buses Serving the Bronx and Queens: In March of 2017 Governor Cuomo unveiled a new design for the MTA’s Select Bus Service buses, which are also equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity and USB ports, and announced that the first of a total of 43 new SBS buses had arrived in Queens and Bronx.

• Digital Information Screens: The MTA is in the process of completing a successful pilot program to evaluate digital information screens on 200 buses. With the completion of the pilot this month, the MTA will begin the process of deploying the screens to 3,600 buses by 2020. The digital screens offer audio and visual route information and display next stop information, service advisories and travel information, including transfers. They also have the capability to display geo-specific advertising, enabling the potential opening up of a new avenue of advertising revenue.

• Pedestrian Warning System & Collision Avoidance Technology: The MTA is also conducting pilot programs for new technologies aimed at improving customer and passenger safety, including a pedestrian turn warning system, will be installed on 288 buses, and a new collision warning technology system will be installed on 145 buses. After the successful completion of this test, the technologies will be installed on 1,600 buses starting in mid-2018.

• LaGuardia Link: The relaunch of the Q70 Limited bus service as “LaGuardia Link” with a distinctive new look designed to help customers and tourists quickly find their way between LaGuardia Airport and two regional transit hubs in Queens that connect to five subway lines, Long Island Rail Road and seven bus lines. The route, nicknamed the “LaGuardia Link,” is a Select Bus Service which employs convenient off-board fare technology that allows customers to pre-pay their fare and enter and exit through any bus door, eliminating the need to wait to pay at a single fare box, and decreasing dwell time at stops. The LaGuardia Link will also continue to offer travelers convenient luggage storage racks.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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