Middlesex County has the second highest rate of particulate matter (PM) air pollution from on-road vehicles in Massachusetts. PM rates in Newton are highest around the Pike. PM exposure is cumulative and linked to many heart and lung ailments, such as asthma and heart attacks.

Green Newton is joining with the Sierra Club, TransitMatters, and others to urge the MBTA to improve our air quality immediately by transitioning to electric buses. In a joint letter to the MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board, GN asked the State to:

  • Publicly commit to full bus fleet electrification by 2030 and release a final implementation plan by the end of 2021
  • Increase the number of electric bus procurements to meet the goal of 100% new bus procurements to be electric by 2023
  • Prioritize deployment of electric buses in communities that face the highest pollution burdens
  • Test and adopt readily available solutions, such as in-route charging and in-motion charging
  • Fast track bus facility modernization and replacement program

The MBTA is purchasing some new electric buses, but instead of reducing air pollution by replacing fossil fuel buses with the new electric buses, the MBTA plans to dismantle the existing electric trolleybus system and use them there. The electric system for trolley buses could be used for in-route charging of new electric buses with routes that extend beyond the limits of the trolley cars. To learn more about in-motion and in-route charging for electric buses, visit the TransitMatters website.

To read the full letter to the MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board visit click HERE.