Governor Kathy Hochul was joined by MTA leaders to announce crucial climate change legislation and unveil zero-emissions buses that will be available for public use.
During the April 22 press conference, Hochul announced the allocation of funding to various state and city-related climate action legislation, including a large chunk of the state budget being dedicated to preventing further climate change.
“We have the most ambitious renewable energy and emissions reduction goals in the country,” said Hochul. “We will have 70% electricity from renewables by the year 2030, 85% reductions 2050 and we are not afraid. We are leaning hard into those bold ambitious goals and it starts with other initiatives such as the fact that our budget – and I thank our legislators, my partners in state government – for approving a $4.2 billion clean water, clean air and green jobs environmental bond act which is critically important to our energy future.”
Within that budget includes a $500 million initiative to electrify school buses, which are enormous contributors to state and city emissions. This decision is also a part of a larger conversation to commit to a green and healthier school future for students.
Hochul repeatedly stressed the importance of taking care of the planet and environment “the way it always should have been”, with her administration particularly taking an interest in the electric vehicle industry.
“We are pulling out all the stops,” Hochul said. “Not just at bus stops, but everywhere we can to ensure that we aren’t leaving any stone unturned in terms of finding ways that we can improve the environment for the future.”
The Governor announced that with the partnership of the MTA and clean energy stakeholders, 60 clean-energy zero emissions buses will be rolled out across the city, which will be in place by the end of the year. This is part of an ambitious goal of the MTA to have exclusively electric vehicles in place by the year 2040.
“This is extraordinary,” said Hochul. “No other city is making this level of commitment and we are doing it right here in the state and new buses will begin arriving in the next year. We are excited about this, we want to make sure we reduce our carbon footprint at the same time that we are creating new jobs with the energy infrastructure.”
MTA chair and CEO Janno Lieber was also in attendance during the historic announcement, and expressed his excitement for the project and future.
“At the MTA we like to think that every day is Earth Day because mass transit is the antidote to climate change,” Lieber said. “Every year our services prevent emissions of a net 17 billion tons of metric greenhouse gases. That’s three times the annual emissions of the city of San Francisco.”
Lieber expressed just how integral this step was for the future of the MTA, but also for the city and the community in general.
“Today’s announcement is an exciting chance for us to take these reductions to a new level,” said Lieber. “Deploying zero emissions buses to communities disproportionately impacted by high asthma rates and poor air quality is a double win for the environment and for equity. This is exactly the kind of investment New York, under Governor Hochul, is making to build back better at a critical moment for the city, the state and the nation.”