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August 14, 2003


First of 578 environmentally friendly vehicles debut at Dudley Sq. Station


Governor Mitt Romney today introduced the first of 578 new buses, symbolizing the rebirth of the MBTA bus fleet and the T’s commitment to improving environmental performance and enhancing the quality of service.


“Today, we are revolutionizing bus service at the MBTA. We are taking an aging, polluting fleet and replacing it with ultra-new, world-class, clean energy buses,” said Romney, speaking at Dudley Square Station in Roxbury.


Romney said the $350 million bus replacement program is consistent with his “Fix It First” transportation policy and will pay dividends in terms of a cleaner environment and better service to the inner city, which relies heavily on bus service. Over the course of the next 16 months, the average age of an MBTA bus will drop sharply from 14 years old to 4 years.


Joined by officials from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and community activists, Romney highlighted the environmental benefits by noting that once the new fleet is in place particulate emissions from MBTA buses will drop by 95 percent.


“Everyone in Massachusetts will benefit from the environmental impact of these changes. And for inner city areas like Roxbury that rely heavily on bus service, the new fleet will mean cleaner, safer and more efficient transportation,” Romney said.


The buses are comprised of 343 CNG (compressed natural gas) buses (44 of which are 60-footers), 175 emission-control diesel buses and 60 duel-mode trackless trolleys. With room for a capacity of one hundred people, the 60-foot articulated buses will service Route 39 between Back Bay Station and Forest Hills - the MBTA’s busiest in the system - and the increasingly popular Silver Line, where ridership has doubled in the last year.


“Put simply, this investment marks a new era in the provision of transit services in the Boston area. The importance of this announcement cannot be underestimated,” said Transportation Secretary Daniel A. Grabauskas. “We are changing the face of a major component of the MBTA, and in doing so, we are responding to the challenge to provide better, cleaner and more reliable transportation alternatives.”


The 40-foot buses will be placed immediately into service on Route 10 from Copley Square to City Point in South Boston, Route 22 from Ruggles Station to Ashmont Station in Dorchester, and Route 66 from Dudley to Harvard Square via Allston. In the coming weeks and months, the new buses will become more visible as they spread to more routes and other communities.


“Unquestionably, this is the most important initiative I’ll undertake as General Manager of the MBTA,” said Michael H. Mulhern. “An extraordinary transformation is taking place in the neighborhoods of Boston. By providing a reliable and comfortable service in easy-to-access, low-emission buses, the quality of life is improved markedly.”


All 578 of the MBTA’s new buses are scheduled to arrive between now and November of 2004.



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