In 2010, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) launched their sustainability and environmental responsibility initiative to “green” the state transportation system, called GreenDOT. All branches of the Commonwealth’s transportation system (transit, air, highway and planning) are subject to the policies contained within the GreenDOT Initiative. Three state laws where passed which drive the need for this intiative: the Global Warming Solutions Act, The Healthy Transportation Compact, and the Leading by Example & Environmental Purchasing Policy. This policy was derived from these acts and is driven by their three primary objectives: (1) reduce greenhouse gas emissions, (2) promote healthy transportation options, and (3) support smart growth and development. In order to meet these objectives and to become a national leader in sustainability and transportation, MassDOT created an implementation plan in 2012 that outlines 7 themes (Air, Energy, Land, Materials, Planning Policy & Design, Waste, and Water) containing 16 Sustainability goals. As part of the GreenDOT policy, each indicator was given a priority for implementation. Indicators for immediate implementation are those that were to be implemented by 2013, medium-term by 2015 and long-range policy targets for 2020. The indicators are measurable tasks that describe sustainable practices. MART is working continuously to achieve the indicators and has accomplished many of them ahead of schedule. Some of the applicable indicators are joint responsibilities of MART, MassDOT, MRPC, or the municipality and they must work collaboratively to achieve success.
Some examples of sustainable practices already implemented at MART include:
Air: Fleet replacement plan so that old vehicles with lesser air quality standards are replaced with fuel efficient vehicles at higher emission standards. MART has electric vehicle chargers at MART’s parking garages. Ayer and Wachusett will get chargers in 2022.
Energy: Solar panel arrays installed at two MART facilities with net metering back to the grid. LED lighting replacements in all of our facilities will save on electrical consumption. There are plans to put a solar canopy behind Water Street facility to park vehicles under in the near future.
Land: MART uses low maintenance plants and minimally invasive techniques for weed control to minimize impacts to the land. MART also only plants native vegetation in its landscaping.
Materials: MART uses environmentally friendly cleaning products and procedures. We also have reduced our hazardous chemical use in operations and maintenance.
Planning, Policy & Design: MART promotes healthy transportation by connecting land use with planning transportation. MART has bicycle racks on all of our fixed route buses and at our stations.
Waste: MART is minimizing waste by recycling and using less material such as paper by scanning instead of copying, direct deposit to employees, and EFT to contractors.
Water: Water recycling in our bus and van washing stations