Governor Patrick helped launch the new fully electric transit bus fleet, comprising six Proterra plug-in, all-electric buses at the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA). This is the first time a transit system in the northeast has added a fleet of fully electric transit buses to its diesel fleet, and the WRTA Proterra fleet is the largest in the nation. Governor Patrick also announced new investments in two programs designed to support alternative fuel vehicles and related infrastructure across Massachusetts.
The WRTA purchased the buses with more than $7 million in federal funds and a state match from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The buses began serving routes between Worcester’s Union Station, The Shoppes at Blackstone Valley and Quinsigamond Community College about six months ago.
They charge at Union Station when the passengers alight, taking about five minutes to fully recharge. Each bus can travel about twenty miles on a single charge and charges about five times a day.
The Proterra transit bus is the most fuel efficient bus on the road with the lowest carbon footprint. Each bus is expected to eliminate 130 tons of harmful emissions per year and reduce petroleum fuel consumption by over 23 thousand gallons annually. “This is the future,” said Marco Peralta, a WRTA bus driver who drives the Proterra transit buses on the Hub Loop route every day. “All this green energy technology that’s better for the environment, bring it on.”
This is another step forward in electrifying Massachusetts’ wheels. Other efforts include funding public electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state, providing special electric vehicle license plates and participating in the interstate Zero-Emission Vehicle Program that aims for 300,000 electric vehicles on Massachusetts roads by 2025. To date, the Patrick administration has invested nearly $20 million in electric and alternative fuel vehicles in the Commonwealth.
And to take things further, Governor Patrick awarded an additional $600,000 in Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program grants to sixteen municipalities, two public universities and a state agency. These funds will go towards the acquisition of plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles and the installation of more public Level 2 charging stations. Governor Patrick also announced a new initiative, the Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOREV) program, which will provide rebates of up to $2,500 for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles to Commonwealth residents. “Together, we are building that clean energy future. We are building a stronger and safer environment for ourselves and for our children, and we are creating jobs right here on the way,” said Governor Patrick. “That’s a winning formula. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
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