The city announced Tuesday that over 2,000 high-tech buses will start replacing MTA buses in April. That accounts for about 40% of the total bus fleet in New York City, and will be completed in five years.
According to the city, the buses will have built-in free Wi-Fi, USB ports to charge your devices, and LCD screens to display information. Each bus will have 35-55 USB ports located throughout, depending on the bus’s size. The digital screens will inform riders about upcoming stops, stops that have transfers, the weather and other information.
The majority of the buses coming in the next couple of years will be in the Bronx with 209 planned replacements, Queens will get 75, Brooklyn will get 70 and Manhattan will receive 18. The MTA is also upgrading current buses to have Wi-Fi and USB ports, which it plans to complete for all express buses by the end of next year.
The entire bus project represents only $1.3 billion of the MTA’s total $29 billion capital program for 2015-2019.
This move to integrate more technology with public transportation buses in NYC follows the start of Wi-Fi coming to subway stations throughout the city via Transit Wireless. The free subway Wi-Fi is planned to hit every subway station by the end of this year.
Offering Wi-Fi has become more and more prevalent in places like businesses and restaurants as more people want to be connected as often as possible. The move to introduce high-tech buses to New York City represents the constant demand for Internet connectivity no matter where people are.
“Internet access has become a necessity, not a privilege — and from charging ports to WiFi, this new MTA fleet will provide critical tech services that New Yorkers depend on each day,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in the announcement.