Environmental Groups Push For Electric Buses In Massachusetts

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Environmental groups are making the case that the MBTA and Massachusetts school districts should utilize more electric buses.

A study put out by U.S. PIRG, Environment America, and the Frontier Group, MASSPIRG claims electric buses are clean, efficient, and cost-effective.

Read the study here

"In the majority of places where they have been tested, electric buses have met or exceeded expectations, functioning successfully in a broad range of climates and types of terrain and often delivering significant cost savings," the report concluded.

The report looked at six case studies of electric buses from the United States, according to Mass Energy Consumers Alliance Programs Director Eugenia Gibbons told WBZ NewsRadio's Carl Stevens.

Gibbons said Concord, Cambridge, and Amherst each ran one electric school bus as part of a pilot program, and that the buses were well-received.

"Those three communities piloted an electric bus program, and by-and-large, all three communities had a very positive experience with the school buses they introduced about a year-and-a-half ago," Gibbons said.

The practice of using the buses as school buses is considered healthier for the students, according to Gibbons

"Because right now most of our kids are stepping onto buses powered by diesel fuel, and diesel is highly toxic," Gibbons said. "It's an air pollutant, it's a carcinogen."

The electric buses may cost more than regular ones, but Matt Casale, who serves as the director of MASSPIRG's 21st Century Transportation Campaign, said there are ways to pay for them.

"Across the country, utility companies and other third party investors ... will come in and they will help make the initial investment and help cover the cost between a diesel bus and an electric bus, plus charging infrastructure," Casale said.

WBZ NewsRadio's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports

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