NEW YORK — Trains come to mind first when people think of transit in New York City.
But buses keep more areas of New York on the move. That has been especially true during the pandemic.
Ridership is rebounding more quickly. Some days 60% of passengers are back on the bus.
On Tuesday, transit officials announced they’re increasing the order for electric buses and will order 60 more this year.
Craig Cipriano, President of the MTA Bus Company and Senior Vice President for Buses for MTA New York City Transit says the electric buses operate in all boroughs and the newest ones should be delivered in 2022.
“The MTA is serious about delivering on the promise of a zero-emissions fleet by our 2040 target,” said Cipriano. “With state and federal support and resources, we expect this program is about to take off exponentially. The MTA is working with the industry every step of the way to meet our ambitious goal.”
The fleet of 6,000 currently has some electric and some hybrid buses. Diesel and natural gas power others
Before the pandemic, the bus system was in the midst of a public review and redesign. That process is on hold.
Scheduling is a daily challenge. On a regular basis, the agency tweets about canceling some runs on a few routes.
“We’re running as much service as we can with the operators we have available,” the posts read.
Vittorio Bugatti created Express Bus Advocacy Group for his fellow riders.
“More people are trying to take buses, but they need to know it’s dependable,” he said.
JP Patafio is the Surface Vice President for Transport Workers Union Local 100.
“Times like this you have to give overtime and cover the work. The only person cursed at is the bus operator,” he said.
As first reported in The City, MTA officials say more bus operators are on the way.
“Our primary customer metrics show improved or comparable bus-service performance compared to pre-COVID levels. This is in spite of the modest uptick in absences due to the pandemic and a hiring freeze that was recently lifted,” wrote MTA spokesman Andrei Berman.
Real-time arrival times can be found on the MTA website.