Congressman Stephen F. Lynch announced that the U.S. House of Representatives has approved $500,000 for the purchase of brand new Brockton Area Transit buses. The funding was included in the Transportation Appropriations Act for FY 2008, which now heads to the U.S. Senate.
“In the last few years, federal dollars have helped to fuel a dramatic upgrade in transportation services for the people of Brockton and surrounding communities," said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch. “With the help of Senators Kennedy and Kerry, we were able to secure more than $10 million for the construction of the new Intermodal Centre and for new, cleaner burning BAT buses. With this new funding, we are hoping to build on that success.”
Earlier this year, after lengthy discussions with Mayor Jim Harrington, the Brockton City Council and BAT Administrator Ray Ledoux, Congressman Lynch approached Republican and Democratic leaders on the House Appropriations Committee to formally request federal funding for the continued replacement of the older and less fuel efficient bus fleet with newer, cleaner operating buses. Congressman Lynch was notified that the funding would be included in the final House version of the bill, which was overwhelmingly approved by the House this week, and will now be sent to the Senate for its approval.
BAT Administrator Ray Ledoux said, “Thanks to the efforts of Congressman Lynch, BAT continues its program of replacing its fleet with modern, more fuel efficient and more environmentally friendly vehicles. We are hopeful that these additional funds will lead to our purchase and testing of hybrid electric vehicles in the very near future.”
Over the last two years, Congressman Lynch has secured a total of $6.78 million in federal funding for new BAT buses. All told, this funding will allow BAT to purchase 24 new buses for its fleet.
These 24 new buses are eligible for federal funding because they replace buses that have been in service for over 12 years. Additionally, 15 of these buses have logged more than 350,000 miles in service. The cost of replacing each coach is approximately $300,000, and BAT intends to complete this replacement program in phases over the next few years.
Lynch added, "Nearly half the cities and towns in my District will benefit from these new buses. And we all know that it would never have been possible without the leadership of Mayor Harrington, the Brockton City Council, Senator Bob Creedon, Representatives Geri Creedon, Christine Canavan and Tom Kennedy, Ray Ledoux of the Brockton Area Transit Authority and the entire Brockton delegation."
Brockton Area Transit Authority has an annual operating budget of nearly $12.8 million and accommodates over 3 million passengers each year with its fixed-route and elderly/disabled transportation services. It serves the communities of Brockton, Abington, Avon, Easton, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Stoughton, and Whitman.