JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports electrifying ground transportation fleets

New York and New Jersey Port Authority's goal is a 100% electric airport shuttle bus fleet

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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will purchase 18 Proterra Catalyst E2 vehicles for shuttle service at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA), representing one of the largest electric bus fleet commitments of any airport authority in the United States. Six of the battery-electric buses are already in service at JFK, with LGA and EWR to each deploy six more in 2019.

“The Port Authority continues to look for innovative and eco-friendly ways to support the growth of its airports,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “By providing a more sustainable airport and delivering an enhanced passenger experience, we are continuing our commitment to reduce the agency’s carbon footprint.”

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The Port Authority operates JFK, LGA and EWR, which together comprise the busiest airport system in the United States. JFK serves more than 59 million passengers annually, including the most international passengers of any airport in the United States, with 32 million per year. With access to Proterra battery-electric buses, airport riders will be able to enjoy the benefits of zero-emission mass transit technology, including improved community air quality and a modern, quieter rider experience.

The JFK introduction expands Proterra’s electric vehicle footprint across the East Coast, supporting New York and New Jersey’s goals of increasing transportation resilience, reducing congestion and improving air quality.

With the addition of JFK, LGA and EWR, seven U.S. airports have now ordered or deployed Proterra electric buses, including Silicon Valley’s Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC), Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), Sacramento International Airport (SMF) and Honolulu International Airport (HNL), underscoring a recent trend toward electrifying airport ground transportation fleets. Earlier this fall, the Senate signed into law a five-year FAA Reauthorization Bill, which expands zero-emission vehicle and infrastructure funding under the Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) Program. U.S. airports are now eligible for VALE program grants in non-attainment areas used to carry passengers to off-airport locations on dedicated airport-only duty cycles, and the FAA funding can also be combined with a battery or bus lease.

In 2016, the Port Authority won the Green Fleet Award, which recognized it as the greenest fleet among the nation’s airports. Using 18 battery-electric Catalyst buses instead of diesel vehicles can avoid approximately 49.5 million pounds of CO2 emissions over the 12-year lifespan of the buses and save more than 2 million gallons of diesel fuel. In addition to the environmental benefits, the new electric buses are expected to positively impact the Port Authority’s bottom line due to reduced maintenance and operating costs.

“This deployment represents one of the largest commitments to zero-emission vehicles of any airport authority in the U.S., and we applaud the Port Authority’s goal of converting their entire bus fleet to electric vehicle technology,” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “We’re proud to help New York and New Jersey introduce electric bus technology throughout the Port Authority airport system. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports are a gateway to our country. Clean, quiet, Proterra electric buses – designed and manufactured in America – will make a wonderful first impression on travelers from all over the world.”