We wholeheartedly agree with the Editorial Board that the MBTA must expand its fleet of electric buses and ensure there are enough drivers to meet the growing demand for equitable, green bus service in our Commonwealth. That’s why we have, and will continue to, work together as a congressional delegation to do just that.
In June of last year, we urged the FTA to deliver a grant for MBTA electrification, and in August 2022 the MBTA was awarded $116 million – nearly half the entire cost of the new fleet. That same month, in response to further calls from the congressional delegation, the FTA awarded Massachusetts $189 million as part of the Low or No Emission Vehicle and Bus and Bus Facilities Programs, to electrify our state’s bus fleets, including $54 million to the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, $12 million to the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority, $2 million to the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority, and $4 million to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
These grants build on the $9.3 billion Congress delivered directly for Massachusetts through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for investments in our transportation infrastructure. To date, we have also secured $660 million in Fiscal Year 2022 funding specifically for the MBTA.
These funds represent a remarkable down-payment on a more sustainable, equitable, and connected future for our public transit system. But we won’t stop there.
Electrifying buses – and the commuter rail too – is a step toward climate and transit justice, ensuring safe, reliable public transit throughout Greater Boston while reducing the region’s carbon footprint and eliminating harmful diesel pollution that disproportionately impacts Black, brown, and low-income communities along major transit corridors. The Board is right that: “the bus system lands at the sweet spot of climate change goals, equity and improving local communities.” Together we will continue making it a priority.
Senator Edward J. Markey, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, and Democratic Whip Katherine Clark
Joe Biden wants to be all things to all people. That’s the part of his job called Politician-in-Chief, and he’s surprisingly good at it. But when it comes to opening up reserves in Alaska for oil drilling, he needs help from the public to make our priorities clear. We don’t need this oil now – or years from now when it might become available. The world has too much available oil, enough if combusted to make our planet uninhabitable. What we need more of is the investment in renewable energy which Biden also champions.
Good politicians are good listeners. So Mr. President, listen up: we need to decrease our dependence on oil, foreign or domestic, because we want to bequeath to our children and grandchildren a world they can live in. We need you to say ‘no’ to this or any other new fossil fuel exploration.
Original story HERE.