The MBTA’s Getting 60 New Buses

They added an extra 20 to an order that was approved by MassDOT earlier this year.

Photo by Olga Khvan

Photo by Olga Khvan

In May, the MBTA announced that they would be replacing 40 old buses from their fleet with new and improved diesel-electric hybrids to ship passengers around.

This week, they announced that they’ve added 20 more vehicles to that total.

According to details, bus manufacturing began this summer, and all 60 new buses should be delivered by February 2015.

The 40-foot, heavy-duty Xcelsior buses, which are powered by clean diesel-electric hybrid drives, are coming from New Flyer Industries Inc., and being purchased through an existing agreement the company has with Connecticut officials. By exercising options within that contract, the MBTA was able to buy the new buses at a reduced cost, with most of the money coming from federal grants, according to MBTA officials.

Originally, MassDOT board members approved a deal with New Flyer Industries Inc. at the start of the summer, allowing for 40 new vehicles to replace some of the oldest buses in the MBTA’s fleet that require the most maintenance resources.

On August 27, however, New Flyer Industries Inc. announced they would be adding the additional vehicles to the agreement at the T’s request. “We recently notified the manufacturer that we would be exercising the option for 20 more,” said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo in an email to Boston. “It represented an excellent opportunity to procure more new buses at a reasonable rate and in a timely manner.”

The new buses, which will feature low emission, fuel-saving systems, and more wiggle room for riders due to a revised seating layout, will allow the transit agency to retire buses that they purchased in 1994 and 1995.