Letter to the Editor

Electric Silver Line Buses for Healthier Neighborhoods

To the Editor,

I thoroughly agree with a recent public opinion piece co-authored by Senator Joe Boncore and Maria Belen Power in which they rightly criticize the MBTA’s proposal to replace the Silver Line’s aging buses with more diesel hybrid vehicles instead of new electric buses. This project could be an opportunity for the Commonwealth to begin to address the huge disproportionate environmental burdens imposed by the State on East Boston and Chelsea. These are densely populated communities directly under Logan Airport’s flight paths and overrun with major highways spewing toxic pollutants without interruption.

It is astonishing that the MBTA is unable to devise an engineering solution for an all-electric bus to serve the Silver Line route. It would certainly not be precedent setting. Perhaps the MBTA could dust off its archives that illustrate how all-electric buses were successfully operated for many years in East Boston and other communities, providing reliable, quiet and pollution free bus service before being replaced with diesel vehicles.

I have attached a few photos showing these successful all-electric buses serving East Boston for years.

Thank you,

John Vitagliano

Former Commissioner, Boston Transportation Department.

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