Strides in Energy-efficient Transportation: New York Power Authority Partners with MTA

New York TransitTransit agencies across the globe are pushing the envelope on energy efficiency. We recently wrote on how India’s train system is being transformed rooftop solar panels. Today we’re bringing you another optimistic story about green public transit, this time on American soil. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to boost energy efficiency at the North White Plains Train Yard. The MTA/NYPA partnership is also moving forward with energy-efficiency upgrades at other MTA facilities, with the end goal of saving New York State over $300,000 per year in energy savings, while eliminating nearly 1,200 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

This August, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the NYPA had completed $2.1 million in energy-efficiency upgrades at the Metro-North Railroad North White Plains Train Yard. This energy saving project is part of the governor’s BuildSmart NY initiative. Governor Cuomo stated that the upgrades will make the facility more energy efficient, while delivering significant savings for the MTA and taxpayers.

This program began in the fall of 2014, and included several energy efficient improvements at four different buildings in the North White Plains Train Yard, which services one of the country’s busiest commuter rail lines. Specific details of the clean energy upgrades include:

  • Replacement of outdated air-management systems
  • A new boiler
  • Electric smart meters
  • A building energy monitoring and management system

The energy management system empowers facility managers to track energy use and avoid waste. Beyond slashing emissions, the upgrades will save the state of New York more than $300,000 per year in energy costs.

The project was overseen by NYPA, who conducted an initial energy audit and saw the project through to completion. The NYPA also provided up-front financing for the project, which was part of a broader program of energy-efficiency and energy-savings upgrades. When completed, these upgrades will save over 50,000 megawatt hours of electricity and over 100,000 gallons of fuel annually. In addition, approximately 31,000 tons of greenhouse gases will be eliminated following the upgrades.

The BuildSmart NY project was created in 2012 and since then the New York Power Authority and MTA have teamed up to complete over clean-energy 140 projects, saving 138,000 megawatt hours of electricity and almost 123,000 gallons of fuel per year. BuildSmart NY projects have also reduced green house emissions by around 90,000 tons per year. The long term BuildSmart NY plan calls for a statewide increase in energy efficiency of 20% by the year 2020. Meeting this goal will save the state millions, create thousands of jobs, and greatly reduce greenhouse emissions.

In-vehicle connectivity solutions can facilitate such energy efficiency initiatives by connecting each vehicle to a central communication hub. Transit managers can track vehicles in real time, enabling them to reroute around traffic jams and avoid wasting gas on idling. Public transit WiFi solutions can lure new riders to public transit, while also empowering transit agencies to improve preventative maintenance and avoid breakdowns. Data is an important tool in the green movement, and WiFi connectivity can deliver crucial performance data to transit agencies. Contact us today to learn how WiFi could boost efficiency for your fleet.

[Photo by Savan Thongvanh via]

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