MWRTA to replace 24 buses for units powered by CNG

December 21, 2018. The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) will use grant funding to replace two dozen vehicles and staff an initiative to get more seniors and people with disabilities to ride the bus.

   The Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that the MWRTA will receive close to $2 million through its Communities in Transit program, which funds transit operating costs, mobility management programs and capital investments.

   The money will allow the MWRTA to replace 24 aging buses, 18 of which serve riders in Framingham and surrounding communities. Six other buses slated for replacement are leased to the South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Employment Options and the Hopedale Council on Aging.

   The buses have reached the end of their useful life, and must be replaced to meet the MWRTA’s internal targets and guidelines published by the Federal Transit Administration, according to a grant application.

   The new buses will each cost between about $58,500 to $94,000 for those that run on compressed natural gas (CNG). The MWRTA is converting its entire fleet to CNG, which is cleaner and historically cheaper than gasoline or diesel fuel.

    The MWRTA is in line to receive a little more than $1.8 million from the state to fund bus replacements. An additional grant of $80,000 will help staff a Travel Training Initiative, which will help more seniors and people with disabilities ride the bus.