Here are some talking points:

1. Since 1963, the T has only replaced two electric lines with diesel buses: the A Line with the 57 bus in 1969 and the E Line past Heath with the 39 bus in 1985.

[Trivia, @universalhub: what was the last dieselized line(s) in 1963? Answer below.]
2. The "Enhanced Electric Buses" are greenwashing.

These are diesel buses. 100% of their power will come form fossil fuel. Period.

Seems not so great, @MassSierraClub.
3. These buses will run on battery power in the Seaport. They will generate power for those batteries using a diesel engine in Chelsea and East Boston.

Guess who lives in the Seaport.

Guess who lives in Chelsea and East Boston.

(I bet @joeboncore could tell you!)
4. The buses also cost nearly $2 million each. That's more than the electric buses the T bought a couple years ago (which had disappointing performance) and nearly double the cost of the 60-foot diesel buses the T bought in 2016.

Is that fiscally responsible, @PioneerBoston?
5. The T's engineering department doesn't like to maintain electrified infrastructure. If they don't, then the board should relieve them of their duties and hire staff that does.

How many years has the T been maintaining overhead wire, @Division2Supt?
6. They complain that passengers would be stranded if the overhead wire fails.

Yet San Francisco and Seattle have hundreds of electric trolleybuses which can operate around wire problems, like every trolleybus built in the past decade.

Maybe ask them: @sfmta_muni, @kcmetrobus.
7. Or Dayton, Ohio: they have buses designed to charge on wire, then operate 15 miles off it. Instead of increasing emissions, buses like that like that could make the SL1, SL2 and SL3 emission-free.

Give @mfdonaghy at @GDRTA a call about them: (937) 425-8390.
Dieselizing electric infrastructure is a big step backwards. It's deplorable that the T's engineering team (led by @es2thoff) proposed this, and billed diesel buses as "enhanced electric" to try to paint over it.

@Steph_Pollack's environmental bona fides are on the line, too.
If the FMCB (Joe Aiello, Bryan Lang, @MonicaTibbitsN and @ChrysMAHsng) goes along, they'll be complicit in a big step backwards for the MBTA's climate change and equity goals. And buying the most expensive buses in the history of the T or, pretty much anywhere!
I urge the FMCB to vote against proceeding with this procurement, and instruct the engineering department to exhaustively study technology which can leverage our existing infrastructure (and buy cheaper buses, too).

The future is electric. Certainly not "enhanced electric."
Trivia answer!

The T had an extensive trolleybus network until 1963. The last routes to run was the 70 from Waltham to Central and 77 from Arlington Heights to Harvard, on March 30.

But that same week they abandoned the 80, 87, 88, 89, 102, 104, 105, 106, 109, and 110.
(The year before, the trackless network in Dorchester was also abandoned. And @Division2Supt would tell you the T has been successfully operating and maintaining overhead wire since Jan 1, 1889!
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