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MBTA purchases new electric buses through federal grant

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(The Center Square) – A contract to purchase electric buses has been awarded in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority said Thursday it has doled out a $119 million contract to New Flyer of America Inc. to produce and deliver 80 new, low-floor, 40-foot battery electric buses.

According to a release, the contract features a base order of 48 conventional battery electric buses and 32 battery electric buses featuring street-side boarding mechanisms. The agreement would also allow the authority to purchase an additional 380 electric-powered buses.

“This contract demonstrates the T’s commitment toward reducing its emissions and is another step toward reaching our climate goals,” MBTA General Manager and CEO Philip Eng said in a statement. “In addition to reducing the authority’s greenhouse gas emissions, these 40-foot battery electric buses have many amenities to enhance our riders’ experience, like flip-up seats, accessibility features, and dual-sided passenger information screens.”

According to a release, the buses were purchased as the authority supports the state’s Net Zero emissions goals. The procurement aligns with the authority’s fleet replacement plan and the 2022 Massachusetts Climate Law mandate to electrify the fleet by 2040.

According to a release, the new electric battery buses have a 120-mile range and the ability to provide early fault detection in high-voltage batteries through monitoring. The buses will also feature enhanced security barriers for drivers and are American Disabilities Act compliant.

According to a release, 10 preproduction buses will be available in the summer of 2024.

The funding for the procurement stems from a $116 million federal grant the authority was awarded in the fiscal year 2022 through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s Federal Transit Administration Low- and No-Emission grant program.

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