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BOSTON - Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - As part of Governor Patrick's commitment to strengthening public transit and improving customer service, transportation officials from the Patrick-Murray Administration today announced the rollout of a new fleet of 60-foot articulated low floor diesel hybrid buses that will serve bus-dependent communities in Boston.

The fleet of 25 emission-controlled, eco-friendly buses was purchased with federal stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and will allow the MBTA to serve more bus riders on some of its most popular routes. The buses will reduce pollution in Boston neighborhoods through a hybrid system capable of improving fuel efficiency by 20% or greater compared to conventional diesel buses. Additional benefits include reduced vehicle noise and improved brake life. At a cost of just over $915,000 each, it is the first purchase of 60-foot vehicles in five years.

"This project will improve safety and convenience for travelers," said Governor Patrick. "That's what we are trying to do in transportation, and we are making good progress."

Arriving in time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, MBTA General Manager Rich Davey joined MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan to celebrate the delivery of the first eight buses to the Southampton Bus Facility, with four put into service immediately on bus route 39 (Forest Hills to Back Bay). The remaining 17 buses will be deployed into service at a rate of two to three buses per week through the end of June. Buses will also be distributed to Route 28 (Mattapan Station to Ruggles via Dudley) and the Silver Line Washington Street route.

"Thanks to the support of our congressional delegation, this significant investment in our transportation system not only reflects our Administration's focus on innovation and clean energy but also our dedication to improve customer service for commuters," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.

"These new hybrid buses are a winner for better air quality, lower carbon emissions and more money in our passengers' pockets. This wouldn't be happening without the investments the Recovery Act is bringing to Massachusetts. We have to reinvent the way America uses energy and Massachusetts is leading the way," said Senator John Kerry.

"The Governor has been clear - our priority is to strengthen public transit in every corner of the Commonwealth. As a symbol of that commitment, in addition to the over $300 million in ARRA transit funds provided to us by the Obama Administration, we have also transferred $55 million in highway funding to critical transit improvement projects," said Secretary Mullan.

"With the support and commitment of the Patrick-Murray Administration, we continue to make sound investments to strengthen our transportation network," said GM Davey. "We will continue on this path to ensure customers are provided reliable, accessible and safe service."

"I applaud the MBTA for expanding its fleet with these high efficiency, low emissions vehicles," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles. "These hybrid buses will reduce fuel costs as well as air pollution. I am pleased to see MassDOT working to reduce transportation's carbon footprint."

"The addition of the Diesel Hybrid Flyers is a step in the right direction towards accessible and environmentally sound transit in the City of Boston. Not only will these new buses be more energy efficient, but they will additionally be more accessible by riders who depend on them for transportation," said Representative Jeffrey Sanchez. "The 39 Bus Route, which runs through my district, is the most heavily used route in the City and the addition of the Diesel Hybrid Flyers will surely make an impact on the overall health and safety of the residents of Boston."

Additional vehicle amenities on the new hybrid buses include:

  • Vehicle accommodates 106 passengers - 57 seats, 49 standees (2 wheelchair locations).
  • Passenger's egress through extra wide 41-inch center and rear doors.
  • An ADA compliant wheelchair ramp is provided at the front door, and the entire curbside of the bus kneels to further accommodate passenger boarding and alighting.
  • Vehicles are equipped with high-visibility LED destination signs, new color main data terminals for the GPS-based Computer Aided Dispatch /Automatic Vehicle Locator (CAD/AVL) system. This includes automated "next stop" voice announcement, and an automatic passenger counter system.
  • A 10-camera on board video recording and surveillance system provides additional security, with a "Live Look In" feature enabling MBTA Transit Police to remotely access and monitor internal bus activity.
  • Buses are equipped with an easy to operate exterior bicycle rack capable of storing two bikes.

The new buses originate from the Southampton Garage serving 12 Boston communities including: Jamaica Plain, Longwood, Fenway, Back Bay, Dorchester, Roxbury, South End, Chinatown, South Boston Waterfront, East Boston and Boston's Financial District. There are approximately 55,000 daily boardings on the Southampton routes with the Silver Line 5 route the most heavily used with 14,700 customers.

Celebrating the first delivery of vehicles at Back Bay Station, transportation officials cut a ribbon introducing the first bus into service and provided a demonstration of the on board video recording and surveillance system. Officials then participated in the inaugural run along bus route 39.

In celebration of Earth Day 2010, MassDOT and the MBTA have partnered with the American Public Transit Association (APTA) to highlight the use of public transportation to help save the environment.

Facts & Figures

Public Transportation Increasing Ridership:

  • In 2009, Americans took 10.2 billion trips on public transportation.
  • 35 million times each weekday, people board public transportation.
  • Since 1995, public transportation ridership has increased 31 percent.

Public Transportation Reduces Greenhouse Gases and Conserves Energy:

  • The "leverage effect" of public transportation reduces the nation's carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually - equivalent to the electricity used by 4.9 million households.
  • To achieve similar reduction in carbon emissions, every household in New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Denver and Los Angeles combined would have to completely stop using electricity.
  • People living in households within one-quarter mile of rail or one-tenth mile from a bus stop drive approximately 4,400 fewer miles annually compared to persons in similar households with no access to public transit.
  • This equates to an individual household reduction of 223 gallons of gasoline a year.

Public Transportation Reduces Gasoline Consumption:

  • The "leverage effect" of public transportation, supporting transportation efficient land use patterns, saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline - more than three times the amount of gasoline refined from the oil imported from Kuwait.
  • Public transportation use saves the equivalent of 900,000 automobile fill-ups every day.
  • The typical public transit rider consumes on average one half of the oil consumed by an automobile rider.

For transportation news and updates visit MassDOT online at our website:, blog:, or follow MassDOT on twitter at

For more information on APTA's environmental outreach efforts, contact Virginia Miller at or call 202-496-4816.

Media Contact Information

For all queries and comments, please contact:

Lydia Rivera