New York – On April 25, ElectrifyNY, a new coalition of environmental justice, public transportation, public health, and good jobs advocates, launched its campaign for a clean, equitable electric transportation future for the state of New York.
ElectrifyNY is calling on New York State to commit to a swift, just transition to a zero emissions transportation future for New York by 2040 – one that creates good jobs, centers environmental justice communities, and expands access to public transportation in underserved communities.
ElectrifyNY is calling on the MTA to release a detailed plan and timeline for a 2040 all-electric fleet. The coalition will unveil a “municipal toolkit” to help transit agencies and officials harness electrification to create good jobs, bring environmental justice communities and frontline workers into the decision-making process, determine the principles of a just transition, shape key equity metrics, and meaningfully integrate community feedback to ensure transparency and public accountability.
Transportation emissions comprise 34 percent of New York’s total greenhouse gas emissions. And yet, our state still lacks a coherent long-term plan to reduce transportation emissions in a manner consistent with the state’s broader climate goals.
New York State is home to over 100 transportation agencies, including the largest in the nation, the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The MTA alone purchases 30 percent of all transportation vehicles in the country and emits more than half a million metric tons of greenhouse gases annually.
In New York City, bus riders from low-income communities and communities of color account for 75 percent of total ridership. With nearly half of the MTA’s buses still burning diesel fuel, these riders are disproportionately impacted by the poor air quality and noxious emissions from diesel burning buses. After a recent investigation revealed that 75 percent of the MTA’s bus depots are located in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color and that neighborhoods like East New York and Brownsville are disproportionately serviced by the oldest buses, the MTA announced it would retire those buses by May.
Earlier this year, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) mandated that all transit agencies in the state electrify public bus fleets by 2040. As the largest city in the U.S. with the largest public bus fleet, New York can follow suit and become a national leader, not only for electrifying transit, but for doing it the right way: centering environmental justice and good job creation to ensure a truly just transition for all New Yorkers.