New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced that it has dedicated up to $5 million in funding for parties that can come up with solutions/proposals for “innovative clean transportation technologies and strategies to improve operations and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for public transit systems throughout the state.”
The push is on to clean up public transportation. For a century, we have been going down the wrong roads. Finally there is a wakeup call, to explore ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 in NYS. In order to do this, we must dedicate time, money, and other resources to coming up with the best environmental solutions when it comes to NYS public transit systems.
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “This funding is part of Governor Cuomo’s comprehensive clean transportation strategy, which is driving transformation throughout the transportation sector to reduce emissions and make it easier than ever to ride clean and electric. These projects are a critical component for advancing solutions to some of our most pressing transportation efficiency and operations challenges while improving ridership experiences for New Yorkers.”
The proposals selected will receive funding to move forward with their projects in an effort to make transit systems more efficient, reduce transit agency expenses, and lower greenhouse gas emissions by increasing transit ridership, reducing fuel consumption among buses, and decreasing the amount of electricity required to power trains.
While Buffalo has not been actively looking at advancing trolley systems, that would seem a great place to start. Can you imagine a trolley heading along Broadway, to and from the Broadway Market and the Central Terminal from Downtown Buffalo? While $5 million won’t get us there, it can get us to the starting line. This is just one idea out of hundreds. The allocated funds can be used to create transportation products, services, and strategies for New Yorkers.
According to the public benefit corporation, “NYSERDA will award the funding as part of a two-step competitive process. Applicants must first submit concept papers focusing on new or underutilized solutions that can help transit agencies make tangible improvements to bus and rail operations while achieving energy savings using one of the following three strategies.”
- Reducing traction power energy use
- Increasing the efficiency of transit buses
- Developing new hardware and software technologies that improve transit agency operations and ridership statewide
Funding is made possible thanks to the state’s 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund – part of $18.5 million (multiple rounds of funding) that will be made available through 2022.
Concept papers must be for technical feasibility studies, new product development, or demonstration of technologies and business models, and will be accepted through August 7, 2018. All proposed projects should be economically viable, replicable, and relevant to transit agencies in New York State. NYSERDA will use a competitive process to identify the best concept papers and invite those applicants to submit follow-up proposals.
More information about this funding is available on NYSERDA’s website.
These greenhouse gas emission policies go hand-in-hand with Cuomo’s recent Drive Clean Rebate initiative, which encourages more people to purchase electric vehicles. So far, 6600 NYers have taken advantage of the $2,000 rebates, totaling over $7.5 million. The effort is compounded by the State’s charge to install at least 10,000 charging stations by the end of 2021. The $250 million electric vehicle expansion initiative (Charge NY 2.0) was built upon Charge NY (2013) that is positioned to put between 30,000 to 40,000 electric cars on the road by the end of 2018.