1. Home
  2. Climate and the MTA
  3. Climate sustainability

Climate sustainability

Cut operational emissions 85% by 2040

Even as the MTA provides sustainable transit services, we recognize the increasing urgency of the climate crisis and the need to act.

On April 20, 2023, the MTA committed to reduce the emissions from our own operations by at least 85% by 2040, from a 2015 baseline.

Our strategy is a three-pronged approach, each of which will be integrated into MTA capital plans.

  • Update facilities: Reduce fossil fuel use and energy consumption in stations and support facilities.
  • Transition fleets: Minimize dependence on fossil fuels used for our buses, trains, and non-revenue vehicles.
  • Optimize traction power: Reduce energy use through energy management, regenerative energy, and storage. 

Update facilities

MTA facilities, including train yards, maintenance shops, bus depots, and rail stations, include tens of thousands of assets that support MTA services. Many require repairs or replacements.

Some of the things that the MTA is doing to make facilities more climate friendly include:

  • Upgrading HVAC and lighting systems to be more energy efficient.
  • Identifying opportunities to transition away from fossil fuel heating systems where feasible.
  • Investing in solar panel installations on facility rooftops.

solar panels

Transition fleets

MTA fleets include subways, buses, and trains, as well as non-revenue support vehicles. The most significant example of our fleet transition is the Zero Emission Bus Plan. The MTA has committed to transition 100% of its bus fleet to zero-emission models by 2040. 

We plan to transition our light-duty non-revenue fleets to 100% zero-emissions by 2035, and medium- and heavy-duty non-revenue fleets by 2040.

We also are reducing emissions from locomotives on Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road, and replacing diesel non-revenue locomotives in the subway with hybrids. 

Optimize traction power

We will optimize power distribution systems through retrofits, innovative pilots, and emerging technologies while leveraging design efficiencies and maximizing operational improvements. About two-thirds of the power used by the MTA is to keep our subways and trains running. To optimize these systems, the MTA will rebuild assets and evaluate emerging technologies to enhance service.