The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is holding an in-person public meeting on June 22 to provide an overview of 15% of the design plans to create a facility to support a 100% battery electric bus fleet. The MBTA is designing a new facility at the Arborway Bus Yard in Forest Hills at the corner of Washington Street and Arborway to support a 100% battery electric bus (BEB) fleet. BEBs will reduce emissions and improve the air quality around the facility and routes served. The new facility will expand the MBTA's fleet size to serve additional routes in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan. The new facility will also provide capacity for 60-foot buses that carry greater numbers of riders on busy routes.
The MBTA is planning to update the modernize the Arborway Bus Yard to create a multi-level facility to accommodate more buses, and convert its entire fleet to electric buses. Currently, two MBTA-owned properties comprise the Arborway Bus Yard site (3600 Washington St. and 500 Arborway) with a total 18.85 acres. Part of the MBTA Bus Facility Modernization Program also includes transferring eight acres of land (Pole Yard) on the site to the city to create affordable housing, according to MBTA documents. The plan is just in the beginning phases, as the MBTA's timeline calls for a public process from next year through 2024, with targeted construction in 2024, and being completed in 2027.
The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council is leading two community meetings this week to discuss the future of the Arborway Bus Yard. Specifically, community input and ideas are being sought for the future of the site, and for how to get the state and MBTA to keep their promise of putting affordable housing on the site. For almost 20 years, the MBTA has "temporarily" kept buses at the location at the corner of Washington Street and the Arborway. State Rep. Liz Malia, D-Jamaica Plain, has continually worked on redeveloping the Arboway Bus Yard, "The reality is acres on the Arboway Yard are abandoned and underutilized since around 1986 and we can’t get the city and state to partner to do something substantial," said Malia earlier this year in an interview with Jamaica Plain News. The first meeting on Tuesday, Aug.