Press Release

Press Release Massachusetts Receives Almost $189 Million in Federal Grant Funding Toward Clean Energy for Public Transportation

Federal Transit Administration announces grants for five entities, including the MBTA for bus fleets and facilities
For immediate release:
8/18/2022
  • Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
  • Governor's Press Office

Media Contact for Massachusetts Receives Almost $189 Million in Federal Grant Funding Toward Clean Energy for Public Transportation

Jacquelyn Goddard, Assistant Secretary of Marketing and Communication, MassDOT

Boston The Baker-Polito Administration today announced the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded grants totaling almost $189 million to five transit agencies in Massachusetts to invest in bus fleets and facilities. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the funding will be used for electric buses, to upgrade bus maintenance facilities and for a workforce development program to support training and safety efforts.

This grant money from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will allow for significant investments to be made in zero emission transportation infrastructure in Massachusetts and we are grateful to our federal partners for this funding,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  “Building on these awards, over 5 years, the BIL will deliver $9.5 billion in total funding to the Commonwealth. We were pleased to support these federal funds by signing MassTRAC, a $11.4 billion bond bill that will allow Massachusetts to compete for additional federal funding and invest in roads, bridges and environmental infrastructure.”

“This funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law helps to build on the investments our Administration has already made over the past 7 ½ years to make Massachusetts’ public transportation system more reliable and resilient and improve roads and bridges in communities across the state,said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.  “This federal funding will help our Regional Transit Authorities and the MBTA move toward running buses with clean energy to electrify fleets, and these federal grants will put them on that pathway.”

"Public transportation is essential for every corner of the state, in our environmental justice communities, rural areas, and other regions, and we are pleased Massachusetts is getting federal funding to update fleets and maintenance facilities,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler.  “These federal grants will help the Commonwealth take steps toward its goal of reducing pollution from the transportation sector, replacing diesel powered buses and adopting more zero-emissions technology.”

“The $116 million for purchasing battery-electric buses received by the MBTA is the largest of the Commonwealth’s federal grants related to public transportation,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “We’re grateful to our federal partners at the FTA for providing us with this vital funding and for their support in furthering our efforts toward a greener bus fleet.”

Massachusetts Rail and Transit Administrator Meredith Slesinger added, “We are grateful to Federal Transit Administration officials and members of our congressional delegation for providing federal funding to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.  MassDOT will continue to collaborate with the state’s 15 Regional Transit Authorities to assist in taking advantage of funding opportunities and opportunities to modernize fleets.”

The FTA approved funding applications for the following five Massachusetts projects:

  • The MBTA is receiving $116 million to buy battery-electric buses to replace older diesel buses that have reached their useful life and launching a workforce development program to support training and safety efforts.
  • The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is receiving $54 million to electrify and modernize its Cottage Street bus facility to meet its goal to convert 100% of the bus fleet to battery-electric buses and buy battery-electric buses to replace traditional diesel-powered buses that have exceeded their useful life. The project will also repair and upgrade the Bus Bay Expansion Project at the University of Massachusetts Amherst bus maintenance facility and improve the safety, service capacity and reliability of PVTA's buses to help meet demand.
  • The Southeastern Regional Transit Authority is receiving more than $12.2 million to buy hybrid electric buses to replace vehicles that have exceeded their useful life. The new buses will reduce SRTA's carbon footprint and increase efficiency while saving nearly 10,500 gallons of fuel annually.
  • The Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority and the Nantucket Regional Transit Authority, applying for funding in partnership with MassDOT, will receive more than $4.1 million to buy battery electric and propane buses to replace older diesel vehicles. This project will reduce emissions and allow more sustainable transit services in Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
  • The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority will receive almost $2.5 million to replace aging diesel buses with hybrid electric buses as well as the 20-year-old HVAC system at its intermodal transit center in Pittsfield. The project will help improve the state of repair of the agency's fleet, which serves Berkshire County, including the 10% of households that do not own vehicles.

For more information on the FTA’s FY22 Low- and No-Emission and Bus and Bus Facilities grants, please visit:  FY22 FTA Bus and Low- and No-Emission Grant Awards | FTA (dot.gov)

The FTA's Low or No Emission (Low-No) Grant Program makes funding available to help transit agencies buy or lease U.S.-built low- or no-emission vehicles, including related equipment or facilities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $5.5 billion over five years for the Low-No Program – more than six times greater than the previous five years of funding. For Fiscal Year 2022, approximately $1.17 billion was available for grants under this program.

The FTA's Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program supports transit agencies in buying and rehabilitating buses and vans and building bus maintenance facilities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides nearly $2 billion over five years for the program. For Fiscal Year 2022, approximately $550 million for grants was available under this program.

The Baker-Polito Administration has been seeking funding for infrastructure projects from many sources, including municipalities which are in specific project areas and from state government resources.  In March, the Administration filed an infrastructure bond bill, “An Act Relative to Massachusetts’s Transportation Resources and Climate,” (MassTRAC), which authorizes state matching funds and tools necessary to compete for, unlock and leverage federal investments in transportation and environmental infrastructure from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  MassTRAC was approved in the Massachusetts Legislature and signed by Governor Baker earlier this month.

For more information on MassTRAC, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-files-97-billion-infrastructure-bond-bill

Funding from the BIL will build on the over $18 billion in investments the Baker-Polito Administration has made in the Commonwealth’s roads, bridges and public transportation systems to reduce congestion, modernize existing assets and expand and improve service for the entire Commonwealth.

Since 2015, the Administration has invested $9.3 billion in roads and bridges - including $3.8 billion for bridge repairs, $4.6 billion for roadway improvements, $204 million for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and $152 million for grants to municipalities (exclusive of Chapter 90 funding); $7.9 billion in the MBTA system - including $6.1 billion for reliability and modernization of the existing system, $1.6 billion for the Green Line Extension and $301 million for South Coast Rail; and $791 million for MassDOT Rail and Transit projects. Notable investments include $211 million in matching funds for Regional Transit Authority capital projects; $359 million for freight rail improvements; $44 million for Knowledge Corridor improvements; and $39 million to acquire rail lines and maintenance equipment.

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Media Contact for Massachusetts Receives Almost $189 Million in Federal Grant Funding Toward Clean Energy for Public Transportation

Massachusetts Department of Transportation 

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As a division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the MBTA provides subway, bus, Commuter Rail, ferry, and paratransit service to eastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island.

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