MBTA Bus Electrification Report

Recent laws in Massachusetts require the Commonwealth to make progress on transit electrification to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. These laws require that the MBTA cease the operation of fossil fuel buses after December 31, 2040. 

This report examines the MBTA’s climate and electrification mandates for buses and rails, as well as other relevant laws, regulations, and practical considerations, and the MBTA’s current proposal for electrification. It provides a timeline for procurements and bus maintenance facility upgrades and construction to meet the electrification targets.

Accomplishing full fleet and facility replacement in less than 20 years, while simultaneously expanding the fleet and service, will be a herculean task for the MBTA. It will require expanded funding and staff capacity, as well as a sea change in how the Authority approaches facility construction project timelines.

The MBTA does not currently have a successful track record of completing major capital investment projects on time. Riders and the climate cannot afford such delays in implementing the current bus electrification strategy. 

The bus electrification strategy can be done within the current legislated schedule, and this report includes a proposed plan for MBTA implementation.