Electric buses are used in Taunton and Raynham

TAUNTON – GATRA has six electric buses on the road in the Taunton area which have already covered 81,000 clean miles since hitting the road in January, officials said.

Mayor Shaunna O’Connell said Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) electric buses replaced six diesel-powered buses.

“These buses are really quiet and send the message that we are a community reducing our carbon footprint,” she said during a ceremony at GATRA headquarters on Thursday, September 22 to celebrate Climate Week.

“The GATRA team worked very hard to make this happen.”

GATRA Administration manager Stacy Forte said the electric buses are in use in the Taunton area and “collectively have traveled over 81,000 miles, which represents a savings of over 104,000 kilograms of greenhouse gas tight”.

“GATRA hopes to expand this program to its entire service area in the future,” she said. “The new design, quiet driving and environmental impact of these buses appeal to passengers, drivers and the general public.”

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg said GATRA hopes to run electric buses in Attleboro.

The six buses operate from the Taunton terminal and cover routes in Taunton and Raynham, he said.

The state pays for GATRA buses

Forte said DEP helped GATRA purchase six electric buses with a $5.8 million state grant in November 2021.

Suuberg said the DEP provided funds to GATRA through a federal Volkswagen Clean Air Settlement Act signed by the Justice Department and several Volkswagen companies in 2017.

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“Mass DEP has developed a new approach due to the Volkswagen regulations,” he said.

The litigation is based on Justice Department allegations that Volkswagen companies failed to meet federal vehicle emission standards for nitrogen oxides.

This is one of six electric buses that GATRA uses in Taunton and Raynham, seen here on Thursday September 22, 2022.

Suuberg said DEP got $22.5 million from the state allocation to help communities buy electric buses.

“We invested $700,000 to purchase electric shuttles across the state,” he said.

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More car charging stations

O’Connell said the Department of Public Works is installing additional charging stations for electric motor vehicles in city parking lots, “thanks to DEP.”

“We appreciate how they care about our communities,” she said. “We are grateful to the Baker-Polito administration and look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts.”

This electric bus charging station is at GATRA Headquarters in Taunton on Thursday 22nd September 2022.

State Sen. Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton, said future purchases of electric charging stations should be possible under an $11.4 billion bond approved by lawmakers and signed by Governor Charlie. Baker in August.

“We can’t have electric buses without charging stations,” he said.

He said the DEP “led a team of people” to distribute funds to communities that want to buy electric buses.

“Their work has an impact on the quality of life,” he said. “Thank you for your leadership.”

State Senator Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton, speaks during a Climate Week celebration at GATRA in Taunton Thursday, September 21, 2022.

State Representative Carol Doherty, D-Taunton, said climate change is “a national security, public health issue, and economic development issue.”

“The jobs of today and tomorrow will be in clean energy,” she said. “Everything we do moving forward will be tied to clean energy.”

State Representative Carol Doherty, D-Taunton, during a Climate Week celebration at GATRA in Taunton on Thursday, September 21, 2022.

Doherty said people with different political views must work together to ensure clean energy now and in the future.

“We can no longer work in silos,” she said. “We need leadership at all levels of government. We are at the dawn of a lasting revolution. Let’s roll up our sleeves to move forward. »

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