Just a few months after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to bring the New York City subway system into the 21st century, it looks like MTA buses will be following suit. The governor's office revealed plans today for a new batch of 2,042 city buses that will be equipped with tech-friendly touches like Wi-Fi hotspots and USB charging ports. It's all part of an effort to "create a stronger, more convenient and more connected mass transit system for years to come," per Governor Cuomo.
Each bus will be equipped with between 35 and 55 charging ports, depending on the make and model; buses will also get a new look, which Governor Cuomo apparently likened to a Ferrari, which, lol. In the first wave of the rollout effort, 75 of these swanky new rides will hit the road in Queens by the end of this year; later waves will go in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, with all 2,042 expected to be on the road by 2020. The projected cost: $1.3 billion.
The "improvements" are fueled by the apparent need for connectivity regardless of location; in a statement, MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast said that, "Wireless connectivity is prevalent in the lives of our customers," therefore the MTA is taking steps to "accommodate this growing trend by introducing high-speed connectivity and charging ports on-board MTA buses."
It all sounds great in theory, but should it be prioritized over other pressing issues, like faster bus service? We'll let you argue that one out in the comments.