Measuring the Energy Consumption, Costs, and Emissions of MBTA Electric Rail

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) spends $38 million on electricity for traction power annually, including $13 million during the grid peak hour of the year. Additionally the MBTA has targets to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually. A better understanding of how movement of trains relates to traction power consumption, demand, and subsequent cost and emissions is critical to better management of these key metrics. This project has the following objectives: (1) Analyze real-time train position data and real-time electricity consumption data to quantify the energy use, cost, and subsequent emissions of an electric rail vehicle. If a full analysis of the MBTA system is not possible due to data quality and availability issues, conduct a subset analysis of the available data. (2) Expand current knowledge on how the acceleration of the trains relates to the demand draw of the traction power network, to assist with planning future energy demand and management. (3) Develop planning metrics for energy use per vehicle mile to assist with planning energy and Operations & Maintenance (O&M) budgets.