ElectrifyNY, a coalition of environmental, transit, and social justice advocates, is calling for New York state and its municipalities to fully transition to electric vehicles by 2040.
According to the new group’s website, ElectrifyNY “aims to improve the environment and public health outcomes for the communities most affected by the negative impacts of the transportation sectors dependency on fossil fuel.”
The main thrust of the mission is a full, statewide transition to electric vehicles in transit and municipal fleets. Transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in New York.
"Transportation is the single largest sector contributing to #ClimateChange. By electrifying transport we can meet climate goals and reduce pollution on the ground. We want to make sure NY's last combusting buses are off the fleet by 2040." @Nick_Sifu w/ @Tri_State #ElectrifyNY pic.twitter.com/emu7ibsjhn
— Adrien Salazar (@adrien4ej) April 25, 2019
ElectrifyNY held a launch event in New York City on Thursday, and much of the discussion surrounded New York City’s plans to electrify its buses. The coalition is seeking further detail on the Metropolitan Transit Agency’s plan to electrify its buses by 2040, the New York Daily News reports.
The MTA plans to introduce 65 more all-electric buses by the end of 2019, adding to its current small fleet of 10 electric buses. It also plans on introducing 500 more electric buses in the next five years.
While that’s a start, the MTA currently has 5,700 buses in its fleet, which would require quite an acceleration of electric bus adoption. Nick Sifuentes, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said, “It’s not enough. We’re calling on the MTA to make sure that they live up to the timeline and commitment that they made.”
Organizations included in the coalition at launch include:
- The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
- The Tri-State Transportation Campaign
- Environmental Advocates of New York
- The Sierra Club
- Jobs To Move America
- Long Island Progressive Coalition
- Sustainable Westchester
- PUSH Buffalo
- New Yorkers For Clean Power
- Natural Resource Defense Council
- ALIGN NY
AM New York was also on hand for the launch. The outlet reports that Keith Kerman, the chief fleet officer at the city’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services, spoke about the benefits of electric vehicles. Kerman said New York City “has 1,750 electric vehicles and plans to increase that number to 2,100 this summer.”
A March report revealed how New York City is reaping the benefits from electric cars in its fleet when it comes to saved maintenance costs.
As AMNY notes, transportation is the only sector that has seen a sizable increase in emissions since 1990, according to state data.
Beyond the transportation sector, New York recently became the first city in the world to require its largest buildings to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
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