NYC unveils fancy new high-tech ‘European’ MTA buses

Brittany A. Roston - Mar 8, 2016
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NYC unveils fancy new high-tech ‘European’ MTA buses

New York City is getting a massive bus system upgrade, and it’ll involve 2,042 new buses being added by the year 2020. The buses will come with a big price tag — the cost will ultimately be $1.3 billion — but they'll meet the needs of modern-day travelers. The buses will be fitted with WiFi, electronic signs featuring pertinent information, and ports for charging phones. The best part? They're totally European-chic, according to New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

The buses will be coming to Queens first, arriving in April as a sort of test rollout before the wider expansion into the rest of the New York City. Said Cuomo during today’s unveiling, “It has a European flair. It has almost a Ferrari-like look, aerodynamic.” These classy Euro-inspired buses will be rolling out over the next half decade, and each come with a price tag of $755,000 USD. The price tag includes a $2,000 fee for adding WiFi service, and a $3,000 cost for adding USB charging ports.

You won’t have to catch one of the new buses to use the technology, though — the MTA plans to retrofit charging ports and WiFi into its existing buses, with all express buses having it by the end of next year.

The buses will also include digital signs as part of a pilot project — these add $15,000 to the bus price tag, but could make life easier for everyone, particularly travelers who don’t have smartphones for up-to-date data. The digital signs will include details like the day’s weather and details about the bus's route. The screens will be installed on 200 buses going into circulation this year.

For his part, Mayor Bill de Blasio said:

More New Yorkers than ever use our public transportation system to move through our city, and these essential upgrades will improve commutes for millions of our residents. Internet access has become a necessity, not a privilege-- and from charging ports to WiFi, this new MTA fleet will provide critical tech services that New Yorkers depend on each day. The Governor and MTA should be commended for making this investment in our city's transportation system.

Following the 75 buses hitting the roads in Queens starting in the second quarter of this year, another 70 buses will follow in Brooklyn over the next 24 months, followed then by a larger fleet of 209 buses in the Bronx and 18 buses in Manhattan. All remaining buses will rollout in various undetermined routes throughout different parts of the city.

SOURCE: Governor Cuomo's Office