Cambridge City
MA

Policy Order
POR 2020 #266
Order Adopted
Nov 16, 2020 5:30 PM

That the City Council go on record in opposition to the Fiscal Control Management Board plans to replace existing zero-emissions electric bus routes in Cambridge

Information

Department:City Clerk's Office, JWSponsors:Councillor Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, Councillor Quinton Zondervan, Vice Mayor Alanna Mallon
Category:Policy Order

Attachments

  1. Printout

Body

WHEREAS:

Electrification of buses and public transit should be an environmental justice imperative because it both reduces diesel emissions in low-income communities of color and provides an opportunity for transit to be powered by cleaner energy; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

At its Fiscal Control Management Board (FMCB) meeting on November 9, the MBTA declined to set a target year for 100% electrification of its bus fleet, as other cities such as Chicago, Minneapolis and New York have done; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

Instead of planning to implement all-electric, battery powered buses in communities like Chelsea and Dorchester that have been historically under-invested in and have higher rates of air-pollution, the MBTA is planning to implement “enhanced electric hybrid” buses that would be exclusively powered by diesel engines; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

Initial deliveries of all-electric, battery powered buses will go only towards replacing buses that are already zero-emissions and have been used effectively for many years, such as the 71 and 77 buses in Cambridge; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

The FMCB has acknowledged there have been problems with their initial pilots of these battery powered vehicles but is still proposing to use them to replace existing zero-emissions buses that have functioned well in communities such as Cambridge; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

While cities including Seattle and Vancouver have expanded their electric trolley-bus networks to improve service for riders and reduce carbon emissions, the MBTA is proposing to reduce its network in Cambridge in favor of a battery-powered technology that has still has issues that could cause service disruptions for Cambridge residents; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

The MBTA should instead purchase in-motion charging buses that take advantage of the existing infrastructure and increase the reliability; now therefore be it

 

 

RESOLVED:

That the City Council go on record in opposition to the Fiscal Control Management Board plans to replace existing zero-emissions electric bus routes in Cambridge; and be it further

 

 

RESOLVED:

That the City Council go on record requesting that the MBTA prioritize environmental justice communities such as Chelsea and Dorchester for electrification efforts that would improve service and reduce emissions; and be it further

 

 

RESOLVED:

That a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution be sent to MBTA leadership and the Fiscal Control Management Board.

 

Meeting History

Nov 16, 2020 5:30 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:ORDER ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
YEAS:Dennis J. Carlone, Patricia Nolan, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Alanna Mallon, Marc C. McGovern, Sumbul Siddiqui, E. Denise Simmons, Timothy J. Toomey, Quinton Zondervan