The 18 buses make up 50 percent of the full fleet being converted from diesel to electric power. The Port Authority is now targeting the end of 2020 to have a 100-percent electric shuttle bus fleet, accelerating the agency's original goal. New charging stations to power this first phase of electric bus deployment have been installed as part of the program at each airport.
The buses in the first deployment phase will save approximately 269 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and approximately 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel at each airport each year. In addition, these zero emissions buses will improve local air quality by removing approximately 2,000 pounds of nitrous oxide and 150 pounds of particulate matter from the air each year. The buses – battery-operated and 40 feet long -- have an estimated range of about 250 miles per charge, with each charge taking less than four hours.
The electric bus program is a key component of the Port Authority's "Clean Dozen" environmental and sustainability agenda, designed to meet the goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2025, and advancing its long-term goal of an 80-percent reduction in all emissions by 2050.
The agency's Clean Dozen initiatives were rolled out in October, at the same time the Port Authority Board of Commissioners embraced the Paris Climate Agreement, becoming the first public transportation agency in the United States to commit to the global climate agreement.
In addition to upgrading the airport shuttle fleet, the Port Authority has achieved a number of initiatives, including:
Partnering with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) on development of10 megawatts of on-site solar facilities at JFK, including a 5-megawatt community solar project offering low-cost renewable energy to local residents.
A $1.2-million lighting upgrade at the Jamaica AirTrain Station in Queens, also in partnership with NYPA, to be completed by the end of the year.
Adding the first all-electric straddle carrier at a United States port, to be operational by the end of 2019 after testing with Maher Terminals at the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal. One carrier reduces greenhouse gases equivalent to 52 fewer passenger vehicles.
Launching construction of a 1.6-megawatt solar carport at New York Stewart International Airport.
"The Port Authority's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and pursuit of aggressive GHG reduction targets are key to reducing the agency's environmental impact on local communities and promoting sustainability at all of our facilities," said Board Chairman Kevin O'Toole.
"We're taking action on sustainability, and our conversion to all-electric airport shuttle buses well ahead of schedule is a prime example," said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. "In the past six months alone, we've not only reinforced our commitment to policies and strategies that will help the environment, but achieved significant results in our effort to make the spirit of the Paris agreement a reality for our agency and customers."
"The Port Authority has made progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions at our facilities, which will help us achieve our interim GHG reduction goal of 35 percent by 2025," said Christine Weydig, director of the PA's Office of Environmental and Energy Programs. "Through partnerships with coalitions dedicated to climate action and collaboration with regional stakeholders, we are playing an important role in catalyzing the collective action needed to fight climate change."
The Clean Dozen initiatives cover seven specific areas of sustainability and environmental action across the agency -- clean electric vehicles; energy efficiency; solar and renewable energy programs; building "green" facilities; clean ship practices for ocean-going vessels; offshore wind, and partnering to combat climate change.
For more information on these sustainability priorities and programs, and the Port Authority's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, go to: https://www.panynj.gov/about/paris-climate-agreement.
The NYPA Jamaica AirTrain Station project features new lighting to modernize the station and increase the safety and security of travelers using it to travel to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The Jamaica Station hub provides connections from the Long Island Rail Road, and the New York City subway system, to AirTrain JFK.
These energy-saving improvements will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 800 metric tons a year—the equivalent of taking roughly 150 cars off the road—and lower electric bills by roughly $89,000 annually. Lighting upgrades are also underway at the World Trade Center site, which will achieve reductions of approximately 1,800 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Port Authority-NYPA collaboration extends to another project at JFK – the airport's first high-speed electric vehicle charging hub, consisting of 10, 150 kilowatt fast chargers conveniently located to serve private and rideshare drivers. These 10 stations will provide full recharge in 30 minutes or less.
The Port Authority also has signed five contracts – with AMERESCO, Con Ed Solutions, Constellation, Honeywell, and Willdan -- to assist in a $100-million program to improve energy efficiency across Port Authority facilities. At New York Stewart, ForeFront Power, a leader in renewable energy development, is designing, building and will operate a $6 million, 450-space solar carport.