Solar Mobility System Standards

Solar Mobility Standards have been filed as S.1878 ”AN ACT FURTHER REGULATING SOLAR MOBILITY SYSTEM NETWORKS” in the Massachusetts legislature in 2017 by Senator Marc Pacheco.  The new wording for S.1878, which is similar to S.1970, was filed in the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy hearing on Oct. 3, 2017.   These standards were filed as S.1970 “An act relative to rapid transit systems” in January 2017 by Senator Pat O’Connor, Senator Don Humason, Jr. and Representative Russell Holmes.  The standards were previously submitted by Senator Patrick O’Connor in 2016 and approved by the Senate as part of the Senate version of the Omnibus Energy Bill of 2016.   An earlier version, the Personal Rapid Transit bill,  Senate Bill 1837, was filed in the Massachusetts legislature by Senator Bob Hedlund and Representative David DeCoste. Secaucus, NJ, adopted similar Performance Standards to allow Solar Personal Rapid Transit, but is waiting for New Jersey to pass the Performance Standards, which would permit crossing the state expressway between Secaucus and Giant Stadium.

The Solar Mobility Standards  will allow innovative solar-powered transit to be built on Massachusetts rights-of-way when it:

  1. is built and operated with private capital,
  2. is highly energy efficient–exceeds moving a person 120 miles per the equivalent of one gallon of gasoline,
  3. gathers at least 2 megawatt-hours of renewable energy per network-mile per typical day
  4. meets the safety standards used for amusement rides–these standards have achieved an outstanding safety record, have an enforcement system in place in Massachusetts, and work with a variety of designs,
  5. pays 5% of its gross revenue to the aggregate owners of the rights-of-way–in other words, instead of taking money, it makes money for governments.   

TAKE ACTION:   Please contact your Massachusetts Senator and Representative to ask for his or her support for the Solar Mobility Standards. Find their names and contact information at  Thank you!

Solar Mobility System Network Standards

Chapter 21A of the Massachusetts General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following new section:

SECTION 27. (a) Non-exclusive access to rights-of-way in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may be granted to mobility network providers meeting the following criteria:

(1) Privately funded construction;

(2) Privately operated without government subsidies

(3) Exceed 120 passenger-miles per gallon, or equivalent energy efficiency; and

(4) Exceed safety performance of transportation modes already approved for use.

(5) Gather more than 2 megawatt-hours of renewable energy per network-mile per typical day.

(b) The office of energy and environmental affairs shall promulgate rules or regulations for alternative mobility networks based on the following criteria:

(1) System design, fabrication, installation, safety, insurance, inspection practices consistent with the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) International Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices;

(2) Environmental approvals will be granted based on a ratio of energy consumed per passenger-mile of the innovation versus transport modes approved to operate in the rights-of-way; and

(3) All taxes and fees assessed on the transport systems providers, passengers and cargo shall be limited to 5% of gross revenues and paid to the aggregate rights-of-way holders by Solar Mobility providers.

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