The Program has resulted in significant environmental benefits by helping to improve air quality in the South Bronx since the launch of the program in 2012
The New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Hunts Point Clean Trucks Program (HPCTP) announces the replacement, retrofit, and retirement of 500 older heavy-polluting diesel trucks with 2010 and newer EPA emission compliant diesel-hybrid, compressed natural gas, and diesel Class 3 to Class 8 trucks. These 500 clean trucks have resulted in significant environmental benefits by helping to improve air quality in the South Bronx since the launch of the program in 2012. The Program has also provided funds to retrofit another 6 trucks and scrap 24 other vehicles.
The Program was funded primarily through a Federal Highway Administration CMAQ grant, and has a primary impact on the Hunts Point and Port Morris areas in the Bronx, and also on the Central Bronx, Highbridge/Morrisania and the Mott Haven area in the borough.
The Hunts Point Clean Truck Program is on track to awarding nearly $14.75 million dollars to applicant fleets that either reside in or do business regularly within the Hunts Point community and markets in the Bronx. That equates to an average rebate of $30,000 per truck. Rebate amounts are fixed dollar amounts, based on the size and age of the truck, and the type of technology chosen for the new replacement vehicle, and on an analysis that includes incremental cost differences between a conventional vehicle and one that operates on alternative fuels, such as compressed natural gas, hybrid, or battery electric.
“This program is cutting dangerous and dirty diesel-truck emissions in some of the New York City neighborhoods most affected by traffic-related air pollution and the diseases it causes. At the same time, we are creating a welcome reduction in the fossil-fuel gases that contribute to global climate change,” said NYC DOT’s Deputy Transportation Commissioner for Policy, Michael Replogle.
“By requiring the installation of Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) technology, the HPCTP shows that the clean air benefits accrue to the Hunts Point and Port Morris community and extend beyond the tri-state region,” said DOT’s Assistant Commissioner for Regional and Strategic Planning Division Charles Ukegbu. “The AVL data confirms that 95 percent of trucks participating in the program access the South Bronx at least twice a week, and these cleaner trucks result in positive environmental benefits for the area.”
“These 500 new green trucks are one more step towards a greener Bronx, and are an important part of the continued push to improve the environment and the health of Hunts Point and its residents,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “I want to congratulate The New York City Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, local stakeholders and community leaders for their efforts to improve air quality in my borough through this initiative.”
“Mitigating carbon emissions from trucks is imperative if New York City is to be a global leader on climate change”, said NYC Council Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. “I am pleased to see the Department of Transportation taking this challenge head on, fostering the changes necessary to provide a clean, sustainable environment for the future.”
“THE POINT CDC congratulates the Department of Transportation and the Hunts POINT Clean Trucks Program on replacing 500 heavy-polluting diesel trucks with alternative fuel and other EPA emission compliant trucks. We strongly believe that this program is a vehicle to addressing the area’s significantly poor air quality and improving the quality of life for the neighborhood. As a long-time community organization, dedicated to the revitalization of the Hunts Point, we applaud the City on their efforts and look forward to supporting them in the replacement of hundreds more trucks to come,” said Angela Tovar from The Point CDC.
In order to be certain that the new trucks are the ones being used for regular goods delivery operations, the Program requires the applicant uses the truck at least two times per week in the South Bronx/Hunts Point area, and show that at least 70 percent of the trucks vehicles miles traveled (VMT) occurs in the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT). To monitor compliance, trucks are up fitted with Automatic Vehicle Locators (AVLs) so that reporting is seamless and accurate.
Diesel vehicle emissions release a host of carcinogenic substances which contribute to the impact of high levels of particulate matter (PM) in the community. PM, specifically fine, or ultra-fine sized particles can become lodged in the lung and help cause or exacerbate various pulmonary diseases that contribute to a poor quality of life and even death. Taking old dirty diesels off the street, in such close proximity to pedestrians and the residential neighborhood would provide a direct air quality benefit to the community and help alleviate some of the air quality issues being experienced by residents.
With its 500 truck replacements, the HPCTP has helped reduce criteria pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions significantly given its modest number of trucks, given that the Hunts Point Peninsula is an origin or destination for approximately 15,000 daily truck trips. Highlights of the Program success has sparked interest in replicating the initiative in other boroughs and neighborhoods that meet similar criteria, and are subject to a high incidence of vehicle and pedestrian conflict.
The de Blasio administration’s OneNYC Plan includes the HPCTP Project as part of the broad OneNYC goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. This week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the launch of NYC Clean Fleet: a comprehensive plan to create the largest electric vehicle fleet of any U.S. city, cut municipal vehicle emissions in half by 2025 – and 80 percent by 2035 – and serve as a model for the private sector and other 21st century cities in fighting climate change. NYC Clean Fleet is the latest in a series of ambitious but necessary climate initiatives outlined in Mayor’s OneNYC plan, with the long-term goals of ensuring the cleanest air quality of any large US city by 2030 and reducing all greenhouse gas emissions across the city 80 percent by 2050.
The Program is also one of the first to require Vision Zero safety feature enhancements as part of the requirement for receiving rebate funds. All successful Round 3 applicants and any future awardees will be required to install crossover and passenger side down door mirrors to increase the driver’s field of vision by reducing the amount of blind spots, and truck side guards which will help minimize the severity of injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists in crashes involving Hunts Point trucks.
The Hunts Point Clean Truck Program (HPCTP) was an outgrowth of the Hunts Point Vision Plan. Formed in the spring of 2003, the Vision Plan Task Force provided a forum for all stakeholders to work together to address critical issues facing the Hunts Point peninsula. In addition to safety, addressing air quality was identified as a critical goal because the Hunts Point peninsula is the origin or destination of approximately 15,000 truck trips every day that access the Food Distribution Center, one of the largest in the world and supplier of meat, fish and produce to the entire tri-state area. The goal was to minimize the pollution generated by older diesel trucks, which generate a higher amount of pollution because some of them were more than two decades old. These neighborhoods are also known to have the highest incidence rate of asthma in children and older adults – twice the average as compared to the rest of the City, and 3 times the national average.
Based on the EPA Diesel Emission Quantifier Model which compares the newer trucks to the older trucks, removing the 450 older trucks (as well as 6 diesel retrofits and 24 scrapped vehicles) has reduced particulate matter emissions by 96 percent. Another 46 trucks are on order or in the pipeline awaiting funding approval. The remaining 50 trucks to be delivered will provide additional air quality benefits.
The AVL data shows a compliance rate of approximately 95 percent for the new trucks in the Program, confirming that the benefits of this program accrue to the Hunts Point/Port Morris and South Bronx communities, and the region. The AVL data also provides NYC DOT the opportunity to study freight flows throughout the City by time of day, on/off truck routes, and seasonal variations, both locally and regionally. These key indicators are useful within a Vision Zero framework for the agency to develop new and better rules, or revise guidelines and programs to foster efficient freight mobility initiatives geared toward street safety and a healthier environment for the movement of goods and services throughout the City.