The American Public Transportation Association
Recognizes the MBTA for its Sustainability Commitment



In May 2012, the MBTA signed the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Sustainability Commitment Pledge. APTA’s Sustainability Commitment is a voluntary program for transit agencies and other organizations involved in public transportation to join and pledge their commitment to sustainability. The basic premise as stated in the commitment is, “preserving the environment, being socially responsible and maintaining economic viability, with an overall contribution to quality of life.”

Sustainability Commitment-goldTransit agencies that sign the APTA Sustainability Pledge commit to instituting procedures, policies and programs designed to quantify to their level of continuous improvements in the areas of water, energy and fuel consumption, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, increased recycling and decreased waste generations as well as other areas within their organization. Signers are rated based upon an evaluation system that qualifies their level of implementation from Bronze to Silver, to Gold and finally Platinum. Each level represents a bigger commitment and thus a reduction in critical environmental categories such as green house gas emissions.

The core commitment to sustainability starts with the men and women who work on the front lines at the Authority and continues all the way to the highest levels of the organization, including the Governor, the members of the MBTA Board of Directors, Secretary of Transportation, and the MBTA’s General Manager. The primary goal of the Authority is to strive for sustainable operations, not just on the environmental front, but as an ongoing strategic relationship with the communities it serves. Governor Deval Patrick stated during the introduction of the Massachusetts GreenDOT initiative, “By making this commitment, MassDOT has declared its contribution to creating a clean energy economy for Massachusetts. In the coming years, we will see the results in smarter growth, cleaner vehicles, and jobs devoted to building a lower carbon transportation system.”

In the MBTA’s first submittal under the APTA Sustainability Program, the MBTA was able to reach a higher standard of compliance by achieving the “Gold” Recognition Level. 

As the oldest and the 5th largest transit agency in the US and carrying over 1.3 million passenger trips every day, the MBTA provides a clean and sustainable alternative means of transportation for the region. Without the MBTA, millions of tons of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants would enter our air every year. The MBTA is one of the most environmentally sustainable elements of the metropolitan Boston area.

Newburyport LineWe strive, however, to do more. The MBTA is committed to a more sustainable environment. One of the end products of a sound transportation system is the positive effect it has on the environment and the local communities. We are continually looking for new ways to reduce the impact of our operations, as well as to find new ways to provide even more sustainable transit trips for our passengers.

The links on the right are some of the projects and initiatives the MBTA is working on to help make Boston and the surrounding communities more sustainable.

MBTA Employee Energy Initiative

Most great ideas are created, not through the efforts of one person, but from a collaboration of individuals with a common goal. As a workforce of over 6,000 employees, we work collectively to provide safe and reliable service to our valued customers. 

MBTA Energy Efficiency small

Innovation, in the way we complete tasks, and improve processes, leads to efficiencies that can potentially improve service. Energy conservation at the MBTA is no exception. We want to hear from all employees about their ideas for energy reduction. Whether it’s a slight change in work habits, an upgrade to equipment or an entirely new way of doing business we want to hear what our employees have to say!

There is an opportunity to save the MBTA a significant amount of energy while improving the work environment at the same time! We know our employees are experts at what they do and we’re depending on them to tell us what works and what doesn’t.