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A new MBTA bus facility in Quincy will be the first to service an electric fleet

The new facility will replace a 104-year-old garage.

David L Ryan/Globe Staff
Infrastructure:

A new MBTA bus maintenance facility in Quincy will be the first in the transit system to house an electric-battery-powered, zero-emissions vehicle fleet.

The project at 599 Burgin Parkway is one officials touted on Monday as a product of $2.2 billion in federal infrastructure funds set to flow into the agency over the next five years, and a “critical component” of the MBTA’s modernization plans, according to General Manger Steve Poftak.

The Quincy facility will replace an aging, 104-year-old garage, and will be a pioneering force in serving the system’s growing electric fleet, he said.

The new garage, flush with battery charging equipment, will be able to accommodate the servicing of up to 120 buses.

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“This will be the first, but I promise you it will not be the last,” Poftak said at a press conference.

Already the MBTA has put cash behind plans for a similar facility to be built at 500 Arborway in Jamaica Plain, adjacent the Forest Hills station.

That project will help the MBTA expand the size of the fleet to serve more routes in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan, with capacity for 60-foot buses that can carry more passengers, according to the agency.

The Quincy facility will open in 2024, and will provide “cleaner and more reliable service” to the city and other, surrounding communities, Poftak said.

“The bottom line is this facility is the first of what will be many as the MBTA goes through the process of completely transforming its bus fleet away from diesel-based and fossil fuel-based powered vehicles to an entirely electric fleet,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “And that is, for all of us here in the commonwealth, a very good story and very good news.”

As to how exactly that good news will look on the streets, Quincy Mayor Tom Koch put it this way: “When you think about what this does, at the end of the day, I think about driving Hancock Street on a summer day when it’s 90 degrees and there’s a bus in front of you spewing diesel fumes, and your ventilation system is sucking it into (your) car, and how disgusting it is.

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“This is going to completely change that experience,” said Koch, who is also the vice chairman of the MBTA Board of Directors and chairman of the MBTA Advisory Board.

The Baker Administration and local lawmakers have, in recent weeks, touted plans for how they’ll put the over $9.5 billion in infrastructure funding in motion over the coming years.

Aside from the MBTA, Baker plans to funnel $5.4 billion towards highways, roads, and bridges; $1.4 billion to environmental-related infrastructure upgrades; and $591 million to regional transit authorities.

Watch the full announcement event below:

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