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Electric bus demonstrations held in three Massachusetts communities

Advocates, electric bus company and local leaders offer insight into value of fossil-free public transit
For Immediate Release

Photo Credits: MASSPIRG policy associate Brendan Mahoney talks about the benefits of electric buses in Malden, MA - staff; An electric bus on display in Belmont, MA - Athel Rogers Photography.

BOSTON -- To showcase the value of fully transitioning from fossil-fuel buses, MASSPIRG held electric bus demonstrations in three Massachusetts communities. A 40-foot-long all-electric bus began its tour at The Beebe School in Malden on March 21, before moving to Cape Ann Transportation Authority in Gloucester on March 22. It made its last stop at First Church in Belmont on March 24 from 2:30pm-4:30pm.

At each event, experts offered insights into electric vehicles and were available to answer questions. Members of the public were also able to take a ride on the all-electric bus.

“There’s no reason we should be running dirty polluting buses in our communities when we have better, cleaner options,” said Brendan Mahoney, policy associate at MASSPIRG. “We’ve already seen electric buses hitting the road in Worcester, Springfield and Martha’s Vineyard. But the vast majority of buses in Massachusetts remain dirty. It’s time to change that.”

Unlike conventional fossil-fuel models, electric buses produce zero tailpipe emissions and could improve local air quality while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A vast majority of the state’s transit buses run on diesel, and advocates are calling on Massachusetts to accelerate the transition to electric options. Replacing all the state’s diesel-powered transit buses with electric models would be the equivalent to taking 7,200 cars off the road annually in terms of emissions reductions.  

“In the next few years, we need to see more clean electric buses hit the streets in communities across Massachusetts,” said Ben Hellerstein, director of Environment Massachusetts. “Cleaner air, healthier communities and a safer climate await us, if state leaders take action this year to fully transition the state to electric buses.”

In an effort to speed this changeover, State Rep. Dave Rogers of Belmont introduced a bill in the current legislative session that would convert all the busses in the commonwealth’s fleet to zero-emissions models by 2035.  

“We cannot address climate and environmental issues if we do not focus on the transportation sector, front and center,” he said. “I am excited to offer this opportunity for residents of my district to come out to see this new technology for themselves.”

Administrators at Cape Ann Transportation Authority decided to host one of the demonstrations because they support the implementation of electric bus technology as well.

“CATA wants to build on current green initiatives in the community and start preparing for more zero-emission vehicles.” said Felicia Webb, administrator of CATA.  “This visit by Proterra is a great way for the community to be introduced to an electric bus.”

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