Next Generation of MTA Buses Hit the Streets in Queens

NEW YORK -
A new MTA bus leaves the site of a news conference at a bus depot in Manhattan, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A new MTA bus leaves the site of a news conference at a bus depot in Manhattan, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The first seven of the city’s first next generation buses rolled out of the MTA depot in New York Tuesday, a fleet which will eventually grow to 2,042 buses which are equipped with WiFi and USB charging ports.

All the buses will be out on the streets of all five boroughs over the next five years, replacing 40 percent of current buses.

Seven buses went into immediate service Tuesday. The remaining buses will be delivered at a rate of four or five a day until the summer, when 75 buses will be operating in Richmond Hill, South Jamaica, South Ozone Park, Springfield Gardens, Rosedale and Far Rockaway.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo used the rollout to announce the success of a field test for MTA eTix, a free app that will allow Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North customers to purchase train tickets anywhere on their mobile devices, instead of using paper tickets. The LIRR and Metro-North expect to launch the first phase of the MTA eTix app’s rollout on select lines in June, and the app will be available to all railroad customers by the end of 2016.

“Today, we are reimagining the MTA for the 21st century and creating a transit system that will meet the needs of the next generation of New Yorkers,” Cuomo said.

In a related announcement, the MTA issued a request for proposals to create a new fare payment system for New York City Transit subway and buses. The system will offer a new variety of ways to pay for fares, including smartphones, contactless bank cards and pre-paid cards. Subways and buses will start using e-ticketing, in 2018 in addition to regular fare cards.