MBTA Neoplan AN440LF ETB on route 73
MBTA Neoplan AN440LF ETB on route 73 from Wikipedia

Boston, MA – The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority or MBTA has revealed plans to replace their current trolleybuses on routes 71 and 73, with battery-electric buses.

MBTA plans to discontinue trolley bus (or trackless trolley) service on routes 71 and 73 in March 2022, and temporarily place traditional buses on the line. While traditional buses operate on the 71 and 73 lines, MBTA will upgrade the current Cambridge depot with electric chargers and capacity for battery buses. The MBTA will also remove the overhead wires along the lines. Once the upgrades are done, which is estimated to be in 2024, the 71 and 73 will operate with battery-electric buses.

The current trolleybuses were built by Neoplan USA in 2004, and have slowly but surely begun to show their age. While they don’t necessarily need to be removed from service just yet, the MBTA believes this is the right step towards an eventual all-electric fleet.

MBTA Silver Line XE60
MBTA Silver Line XE60 Electric Bus Not in Service photo by MCMM Productions

Currently, the MBTA runs trolley buses on routes 71, 73, and Silver Line routes SL1, SL2, and SL3. Battery electric buses also currently exist within MBTA’s fleet, operating on Silver Line routes SL4 and SL5.

For all fans and enthusiasts, this will be the time to get your photos and videos! You may not see trolleybuses for long.

About the author: DashTransit Verified icon 1

I have been with Virtual Transportation Cente since it's conception as the "Dash Forums" back in 2008. Since then, I have been writing and doing YouTube side by side, focusing both on Transportation and Gaming. Most of my knowledge comes from SEPTA as I lived in Philadelphia for most of my life. As of 2021, I am on YouTube as DashTransit, Dash5155, and TheDashOfficial.

As for the name DashTransit itself, it actually stems from my YouTube channel.

DashTransit was originally called "njt5329" and the channel was just clips of buses. Mostly SEPTA and NJT. A Fujifilm Finepix was used in this era.

Starting in July 2011, the Canon SX130IS camera became the camera of the channel, bringing HD documentary-style videos much like my buddy (trainman1971) did for DVD for many years past. This is when the channel became known as "Transit Action Series"

In May 2012, the original Canon SX130IS retired, and then all videos were recorded off a mobile phone until eventually uploaded proved too difficult due to hardships IRL

Starting in 2017, I used a Canon SX200IS from Bastranz to reboot the channel that otherwise was dead for a whole year prior.

Between April 19th, 2019, and January 21st, 2021, all videos were recorded by a Canon SX710 HS camera. The channel was renamed DashTransit 4/19/19.

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