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First Ever Paratransit Electric Vehicles Join Access-A-Ride Fleet

Transition to electric fleet is part of MTA’s commitment to reduce emissions by at least 85% by 2040
MTA New York City Transit President Richard Davey, MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo, and Vice President of Paratransit Chris Pangilinan exhibit the first of 15 all-electric Access-a-Ride vehicles at Bowling Green on Monday, Apr 15, 2024.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has unveiled the first fleet of electric vehicles to join the Access-A-Ride paratransit program. The pilot, which includes 15 electric vans will begin making trips throughout the five boroughs today. The new fleet cost approximately $3 million. 

Last month, Access-A-Ride set an all-time record for booked trips for a seven-day period. Between Friday, March 8 and Thursday, March 14 Access-A-Ride recorded a record 213,512 booked trips. The record high included 36,469 booked trips for Wednesday, March 13 alone. The booked trips high builds on a strong 2023 in which Access-A-Ride saw on-time performance at an all-time high and wait times plummet. Booked trips on an average weekday have increased from 31,500 per day to 33,800 per day in March. Between July 2023 and March 2024, MTA Paratransit cut its call answer times from 50 seconds down to 15.  

“Just in time for Earth Day, Paratransit is getting greener in another example of our commitment to reduce the emissions by updating facilities, transitioning fleets and using energy efficiently,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “Access-A-Ride customers demanded reliable service that gets them where they needed to go faster, and our Paratransit team continues to deliver with improved on-time performance and lower wait times.” 

In October 2023, 20 new Ford E-450 vans joined the Access-A-Ride fleet including one van testing a new wheelchair securement system, which includes an improved yellow visual design to quickly and safely secure customers using wheelchairs, another step towards modernizing the system and making it more customer friendly.