Governor Deval Patrick celebrated the launch of a new fully electric transit bus fleet at the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA). The Governor also announced new investments in two programs designed to support alternative fuel vehicles and related infrastructure across Massachusetts.
“We are committed to using innovative strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, bolster our energy independence and grow our clean energy economy,” said Governor Patrick. “The WRTA’s new fleet is an example of how we are accelerating the adoption of cleaner vehicles throughout Massachusetts to reduce harmful pollutants and promote a more sustainable environment for future generations.”
The WRTA purchased six Proterra plug-in, all-electric buses with more than $7 million in federal funds and matching state funds from MassDOT. These buses represent the largest fleet of Proterra all-electric buses in the nation.
“Governor Patrick has been a leader in greenhouse gas emissions reduction,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan. “Thanks to his support, the transit authority is now home to a fleet that is cleaner, quieter and will save money. Today’s announcement shows that alternative fuel vehicles are a win-win for the environmental and economic bottom line.”
“The new electric fleet further advances the Commonwealth’s goals to provide our residents and visitors access to sustainable, healthy transportation,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “I would like to recognize Administrator Stephen O’Neil and applaud his efforts and vision to bring cleaner bus service to the transit users in the Worcester region.”
Each bus eliminates 130 more tons of carbon dioxide per year than buses using diesel fuel. The fleet will also reduce petroleum fuel consumption, eliminate other harmful pollutants and lower operating costs by nearly $3 million over 12 years.
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 (EVs). All residents of the Commonwealth are eligible to receive incentives on vehicles registered in Massachusetts; these incentives will be funded with $2 million in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction proceeds.
Governor Patrick also awarded on Thursday nearly $600,000 in Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP) grants to 16 municipalities, two public universities and colleges, and one state agency for the acquisition of plug-in hybrid or battery-electric vehicles and the installation of Level 2 charging stations. This is the second round of grant awards through MassEVIP since its launch last year. For more information on today’s grant awards, go to: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/air/grants/massevip.html
The Patrick Administration has already invested more than $20 million in electric and alternative fuel vehicles in the Commonwealth. In December 2013, the Patrick Administration announced several additional initiatives, including an electric school bus pilot. Working in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative’s ongoing EV V2G School Bus Demonstration, DOER will provide $1.8 million in grants for eight electric school buses with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capability. Electric school buses have energy storage capability and can serve as back-up energy resources during natural disasters and similar events.
In addition, the Clean Vehicle Project aims to replace more than 200 public and private fleet vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel with alternatively fueled vehicles.
In October 2013, Governor Patrick signed a Zero-Emission Vehicle Program Memorandum of Understanding with seven other states’ governors to increase the number of clean energy vehicles on the road. Of the overall goal to achieve 3.3 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025, Massachusetts’ portion is 300,000.
The initiatives announced today will encourage increased deployment of advanced technology vehicles in Massachusetts, improve air quality, reduce reliance on foreign oil and help Massachusetts attain the Patrick Administration’s aggressive emission reduction goals set under the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). The Clean Energy and Climate Plan goal, created under the GWSA, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. The transportation sector generates more than one-third of the greenhouse gas emissions produced in Massachusetts. The Clean Energy and Climate Plan establishes a target for the transportation sector to reduce GHG emissions 7.6 percent by 2020.
MassDOT, Mapfre Insurance Encourage Safe Summer Driving posted on May 24
In time for Memorial Day, the kick-off to the summer driving season, MassDOT Acting Highway Administrator Thomas Tinlin joined MAPFRE Insurance in reminding motorists to adhere to speed limits, obey traffic laws and avoid distracted driving when traveling during the summer months. According to data …Continue Reading MassDOT, Mapfre Insurance Encourage Safe Summer Driving
Chelsea: Silver Line Gateway Project Bridge Closure posted on May 22
MassDOT will close the Washington Avenue Bridge in Chelsea on Tuesday, May 26 at 10:00 AM as part of the Silver Line Gateway Project. Appropriate detour signs will be in place to redirect traffic and pedestrians, and identify relocated bus stops. The bridge closure is …Continue Reading Chelsea: Silver Line Gateway Project Bridge Closure
MBTA: Refurbished Green Line Trolleys Returning to Service posted on May 22
The first MBTA Green Line refurbished trolley car was returned to service this week. T personnel are completing test runs on the next refurbished car to return to service in the coming days. These are the first of 86 that are being refurbished. All 86 …Continue Reading MBTA: Refurbished Green Line Trolleys Returning to Service