University Introduces New Electric Shuttles

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Electric Shuttles Ribbon Cutting

Harvard officially introduced its new electric shuttle buses with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Science Center Plaza on October 21st. University leaders were joined by state and local officials to unveil the four, 100% electric shuttles which are replacing bio-diesel powered vehicles representing more than 30% of Harvard’s fleet. Before introducing Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, University President Lawrence S. Bacow noted that Harvard’s campus is a “living laboratory where we can both experiment and demonstrate best practices.” Mayor Siddiqui spoke of the City’s commitment to do “everything possible to combat climate change” and that the University is a true partner in that effort. This project is just one part of an aggressive effort to advance solutions for climate change, improve public health, and support the University’s goals of becoming fossil fuel-free by 2050 and fossil fuel-neutral by 2026.

The shuttle fleet transports approximately 600,000 community members across the University each year. The transition to these electric powered buses is expected to lower greenhouse gas emissions by more than 220,000 pounds annually while reducing air and noise pollution. Managing Director for Transportation Services John Nolan spoke of Harvard’s determined efforts to be “good stewards of the environment, not just for those on campus, but also for our host communities and for cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth.” Also joining the celebration on the Plaza was Deputy Commissioner for Policy and Planning Stephanie Cooper from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Deputy Commissioner Cooper noted that “the transportation sector accounts for 42% of the greenhouse gases that are emitted in Massachusetts” and that partnerships with institutions such as Harvard are important for bringing newer, cleaner vehicles to the Commonwealth. The University’s electric buses were made possible through a MassDEP grant program which is funding nearly 100 projects across the state to help electrify the transportation sector. In addition, a loan from the Harvard Green Revolving Fund enabled investment in the charging infrastructure necessary to support the new buses. Watch this video to see the shuttles in action.

(pictured above from l-r: Vice President for Harvard Public Affairs and Communications Paul Andrew, Harvard Vice Provost for Climate and Sustainability James H. Stock, Managing Director for Harvard’s Office for Sustainability Heather Henriksen, Managing Director for Harvard Transportation Services John Nolan, Vice President for Harvard Campus Services Meredith Weenick, Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow, Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, Proterra Chief Commercial Officer John Walsh, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner for Policy and Planning Stephanie Cooper, Harvard Executive Vice President Katherine N. Lapp, Director of Harvard Transit and Fleet Management David E. Harris)

Electric Shuttle