August 16, 2022

Senators Warren, Markey, Massachusetts Congressional Delegation Celebrate $189 Million in Federal Funding to Support Transition to Zero and Low-Emissions

Funds Awarded by the Federal Transit Administration Will Support the Transition of Massachusetts Transit Authorities’ Fleets to the Lowest Polluting and Most Energy Efficient Buses.

Boston, MA — U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation in celebrating the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) announcement that it will award $189 million in federal transportation grants to finance capital projects, including transitioningMassachusetts transit authorities’ fleets to greener, more energy efficient buses.

“Congratulations to the five recipients for receiving these federal transportation grants and to Massachusetts for the second highest amount of funding in the country,” said Senator Warren. "These grants will help build the next generation of green public transit across our state by investing in electric and low-emissions buses that will make commutes more reliable and our air cleaner.”

“These federal investments will help ensure that Massachusetts families have accessible, affordable, and efficient public transit fit for the 21st century,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “As transportation remains the top polluting sector in our Commonwealth, transitioning to a more efficient bus fleet is a critical step toward achieving the emissions reductions we need for a healthier, more livable future.”

“Reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to clean energy is critical to our fight against climate change,” said Congresswoman Katherine Clark. “By electrifying our public transportation system, we are improving the quality of our air, improving the health of our communities, and putting us on a path toward a greener future. I’m thrilled to see this funding come to Massachusetts.”

“Climate change remains one of the most existential threats to the future of our planet,” said Congressman James McGovern. “By investing in zero- and low-emission bus fleets, Massachusetts affirms itself as a national leader in taking the bold and aggressive action necessary to address the damage caused by human action on our environment. By increasing transit energy efficiency, this funding reduces America’s dependency on Big Oil, contributing to the more sustainable and cleaner future our children deserve.”

“Now is the time for Massachusetts to make bold investments into cleaner, more sustainable transportation options. This funding for zero- and low-emission buses will help to improve air quality while giving riders more reliability,” said Congressman Seth Moulton. “This is an important step on the way to rebuilding the modern infrastructure that our state deserves.”

“I’m thrilled to see this transformative investment in the Commonwealth’s transition to low- and zero-emission transportation options,” said Congresswoman Lori Trahan. “Thanks to this federal funding, Massachusetts will continue our leadership in clean, modern, and affordable transit that every resident can afford.”

“Climate change is an existential threat and it’s imperative that we advance policies and investments to confront it head on,” said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. “With communities of color bearing the disparate brunt of both environmental and transit injustice, electrifying our bus fleets in the Massachusetts 7th will be a necessary step towards making our transit systems more sustainable and accessible. I’m glad to see this money come to Massachusetts and I am grateful to Senator Markey and our delegation colleagues for their partnership.”

The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) will receive a grant from FTA’s Buses and Bus Facilities Competitive Program to finance buses and bus facilities capital projects. The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA), and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will each receive a grant from FTA’s Low or No Emissions Vehicle Program to support their efforts in purchasing and leasing zero-emission and low-emission transit buses.

Specifically, these grants would provide: 

  • $54,000,000 to the PVTA to purchase battery-electric buses, expanded the bus bay of the UMass Bus Maintenance Facility, and support transit electrification efforts along Cottage Street.
  • $2,457,328 to the BRTA for replacement vehicles and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
  • $4,143,750 to MassDOT to facilitate the commonwealth’s transition to zero- and low-emission transit systems.
  • $12,240,000 to the SRTA to replace buses along fixed routes with hybrid electric transit vehicles.
  • $116,000,000 to the MBTA for Phase I of its transition to a battery-electric bus fleet.

Senator Warren has long advocated for action to combat the negative effects of climate change, including through investment in green technologies: 

  • In June 2022, Senator Warren joined her colleagues Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-05), Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.), and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) in sending a letter to FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez in support of the MBTA’s application to the Low or No Emissions Vehicle Program and Bus and Bus Facilities Program.
  • In March 2022, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), along with Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) sent a letter to President Biden, urging him to employ his existing executive authorities to advance the development and widespread adoption of clean energy and energy-efficient electric technologies, such as heat pumps, in order to reduce dependence on Russia and other authoritarian petrostates, create new green jobs, save money for American consumers, protect public health, and combat the climate crisis.
  • In November 2021, Senator Warren joined Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) to introduce the Clean Energy for All Homes Act, legislation that would make it more affordable for families to install energy efficient home technology and save money on their energy bills. The bill would help middle-class and lower-income families afford solar roofs and other renewable energy technology installations by lessening the cost burden of installing these systems.
  • In May 2021, Senator Warren and Congressman Andy Levin (D-Mich.) introduced the National Institutes of Clean Energy Act of 2021, legislation that would invest $400 billion over the next ten years to establish and operate a new system of institutes at the Department of Energy dedicated to research and development (R&D) of advanced clean energy technologies. Modeled after the National Institutes of Health, these Clean Energy Institutes would invest in clean energy science, innovation, and R&D to support projects that help reduce carbon emissions and build climate resilience.
  • In April 2021, Senator Warren made the case for the need to tackle climate change by investing in our nation's clean energy infrastructure, including the replacement of buses powered by diesel with electric buses at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing.
  • In May of 2021, Senator Warren and Congressman Levin introduced the Buy Green Act of 2021, which would establish $1.5 trillion in federal procurement commitments over the next ten years to purchase American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy products for federal, state, and local use. The bill also establishes a grant program for U.S. companies to invest in clean energy manufacturing.
  • In March 2021, Senator Warren and Congressman Levin, along with Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), unveiled the BUILD GREEN Infrastructure and Jobs Act. Modeled after the Department of Transportation's successful BUILD grant program, BUILD GREEN would invest $500 billion over ten years in state, local, and tribal projects to jumpstart the transition to all electric public vehicles and rail and help modernize the nation's crumbling infrastructure.