In September 2017, the MBTA issued the first tax-exempt sustainability bond in the United States. The $99 million issue financed more than 100 projects within the Authority’s capital improvement plan with clear environmental and social benefits. Since that first offering, the MBTA has issued an additional $217 million in sustainability bond anticipation notes and $45.6 million in sustainability bonds.
The MBTA’s Sustainability Bond was recognized as The Bond Buyer’s 2017 Northeast Regional Deal of the Year, and was a finalist for the National Deal of the Year.
Building a Better T
As part of our $9.6 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.
Sustainability Bond Framework
The MBTA developed the Sustainability Bond Framework to set the parameters for deciding which projects should be funded via the Sustainability Bonds.
The Framework, which is consistent with the Sustainability Bond Guidelines (“SBG”) established by the International Capital Market Association, evaluates the environmental and social benefits provided by the projects.
Environmental considerations include the transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient, and sustainable community.
Social considerations include access to essential services and affordable infrastructure, critical health and safety improvements, and socioeconomic advancement.
Projects Funded by Sustainability Bonds
The MBTA seeks to use proceeds from sustainability bonds for the following types of projects:
- Respect, protect, and improve the built environment and enhance the quality of the travel experience
- Reduce emissions from personal vehicle trips by increasing capacity to carry passengers and increasing the attractiveness of public transit by offering more frequent, reliable, and comfortable service
- Address climate change by reducing carbon emissions and building resiliency in the system to prepare for the potential impacts of climate change and extreme weather
- Respect, enhance, and protect the natural environment and its contribution to the quality of life
- Control operations to minimize transport related noise and vibration
- Proactively manage activities to minimize and control pollution
- Wisely manage resources to reduce waste and protect the natural environment
- Balance the means of customers, particularly low-income riders, by building affordability into our system
- Operate an inclusive system and facilities designed to accommodate a diverse customer base that is fully accessible to all customers
- Ensure communities within the service area have available, reasonable, and equitable reach of the public transportation system
- Offset social and environmental burdens experienced by populations or communities within the service area
- Address equity across the diverse modes, customer bases, and service area
- Operate our system by addressing safety standards that protect passengers, operators, and the general public
- Maintain a safe, empowering, and satisfying workplace environment for MBTA and affiliated employees
To date, the MBTA has funded more than 100 projects through the issuance of sustainability bonds. Some of these key projects include: