MBTA welcomes 345 new buses

The new fleet marks two years of progress since the Fiscal and Management Control Board was created, officials said.
MBTA buses
The MBTA announced that 345 new buses will enter the service fleet. Photo: Provided by MassDOT

The department of transportation announced on Tuesday the delivery of 345 new buses to the MBTA’s service fleet.

 

The buses will be delivered by next month and include 156 diesel-electric hybrid buses, 175 compressed natural-gas buses and 44 sixty-foot, articulated buses (also known as accordion buses).

 

The new buses will help replace the entire fleet of Silver Line vehicles that serve the Washington Street corridor between Roxbury and downtown Boston, the department said, and also highlight the progress made during the two years of the Fiscal and Management Control Board’s (FMCB) leadership of the transit authority.

 

“In two short years, the hard working volunteer members of the FMCB and leadership at MassDOT and the MBTA have made important strides in delivering the reforms and upgrades to make our commonwealth’s public transit system more accountable to taxpayers and riders,” Governor Charlie Baker said in a statement.

 

“With 375 new buses and 428 new cars joining the fleet and critical infrastructure improvements including over 45 miles of new third rail and heating infrastructure, the MBTA is making the investments that ensure riders have the more reliable and dependable service they deserve,” he added.

Baker appointed the five member FMCB in July 2015, following an intense winter that resulted in disastrous MBTA service, including severe delays and multiple service cancellations.

Together, the board, the MBTA and Keolis, the commuter rail partner “have continued to make the reforms and upgrades necessary to improve service for riders and the communities served by the core system,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito in a statement.

Those improvements include 130 new assistant conductors, 80,000 new rail ties, new stations and more in efforts to reduce heat restrictions and delays, according to Polito.

The MBTA has also invested more than $100 million into its winter resiliency efforts, including new equipment, 23.5 new miles of third rail, 21.5 new miles of heating infrastructure and 3,600 linear feet of snow fencing.

“While we still have a lot to do and, like our system, will continue to face foreseen as well as unexpected problems along the way, we believe we can report real progress,” said FMCB Chairman Joe Aiello in a statement. “Customers are experiencing some improvements and much greater ones are coming as new vehicles, upgraded infrastructure, and modernized fare collection and other systems come on line.”
 

 
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