35 California Mayors Urge Strong Action on the Transition to 100% Zero-Emission Bus Fleets  

Mayors from across the state support zero-emission buses in advance of the California Air Resources Board’s Innovative Clean Transit measure

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. August 23, 2018 – Today, 35 California mayors representing nearly 25 percent of the state’s population released a letter urging strong action on the transition to zero-emission buses, and this September, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will vote on the proposed Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) measure, which would require state public transit agencies to transition to 100 percent zero-emission buses by 2040. Already, cities across California and the United States have set goals to procure 100 percent zero-emission buses, because the electric bus solutions on the market today are simply better: more economical over the lifetime of the vehicle, higher performing and environmentally sustainable. Representatives from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the Californians for Zero Emissions Vehicles (CalZEV) presented an expanded letter to CARB officials, which includes twice the amount of mayoral support from January in advance of the CARB public hearing on September 27.

Zero-emission buses will significantly improve the air quality in cities across California. The lifecycle emissions of electric transit buses are the lowest of all types of buses. Electric vehicles do not have any tailpipe emissions, which provides significant relief to the local air quality in the communities in which they are driven. Running on California’s electric grid, battery-electric buses emit 70 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than both natural gas and diesel-powered buses, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. 

Furthermore, zero-emission bus technology has advanced dramatically in the last few years, increasing the range and decreasing prices. There are also substantial incentives to make up for the difference in cost between a zero-emission bus and a gas or diesel or diesel-hybrid bus. CARB estimates that California would save over $500 million over the status quo if the state transitioned to all battery-electric buses by 2040.

Given the combined benefits of zero-emission buses, a growing list of fleets across North America have already planned to go 100 percent zero-emission, including twelve California public transit agencies listed below. In Los Angeles County alone, LA Metro, LADOT, AVTA and Foothill Transit will go all-electric. 

  • Anaheim Resort Transportation - 2019/2020

  • Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) - 2018

  • Foothill Transit - 2030

  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) - 2030

  • Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) - 2030

  • Porterville Transit - 2025

  • San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) - 2035

  • San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) - 2025

  • San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans) - 2033

  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) - 2033

  • Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit Districts (Metro) - 2040

  • Santa Monica Big Blue Bus (BBB) - 2030

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) also recently committed to a 100 percent zero-emission bus transition, and has the cleanest trolley electric bus system in California with 50 percent of its electric fleet running on 100 percent greenhouse gas-free Hetch Hetchy electricity via overhead wires. 

“Transitioning to 100 percent zero-emission buses across California is good for our cities, good for our state, and good for the planet,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “California has always been at the forefront of environmental innovation. By converting our bus fleets to electric vehicles, we can improve our air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and fight back against the Trump Administration’s disastrous environmental policies.”

The mayors below are committed to advocating for zero-emission electric buses in their respective cities, and support transitioning bus fleets in their cities to zero-emission as soon as possible.

  1. Mayor Sho Tay, City of Arcadia

  2. Mayor Douglas Kim, City of Belmont

  3. Mayor Jesse Arreguin, City of Berkeley

  4. Mayor Michael Brownrigg, City of Burlingame

  5. Mayor Mary Salas, City of Chula Vista

  6. Mayor Catherine Blakespear, City of Encinitas

  7. Mayor Andre Quintero, City of El Monte

  8. Mayor Deborah Penrose, City of Half Moon Bay

  9. Mayor Rey León, City of Huron

  10. Mayor Sam Hindi, City of Foster City

  11. Mayor Serge Dedina, City of Imperial Beach

  12. Mayor Steve Croft, City of Lakewood

  13. Mayor R. Rex Parris, City of Lancaster

  14. Mayor Racquel Vasquez, City of Lemon Grove

  15. Mayor Robert Garcia, City of Long Beach

  16. Mayor Eric Garcetti, City of Los Angeles

  17. Mayor Rob Rennie, City of Los Gatos

  18. Mayor Gina Papan, City of Millbrae

  19. Mayor Libby Schaaf, City of Oakland

  20. Mayor Milt Stowe, City of Porterville

  21. Mayor Tom Butt, City of Richmond

  22. Mayor Darrell Steinberg, City of Sacramento

  23. Mayor Sam Liccardo, City of San Jose

  24. Mayor Heidi Harmon, City of San Luis Obispo

  25. Mayor Lisa M. Gillmor, City of Santa Clara

  26. Mayor London Breed, City of San Francisco

  27. Mayor Cathy Murillo, City of Santa Barbara

  28. Mayor David Terrazas, City of Santa Cruz

  29. Mayor Ted Winterer, City of Santa Monica

  30. Mayor Michael Tubbs, City of Stockton

  31. Mayor Glenn Hendricks, City of Sunnyvale

  32. Mayor Patrick Furey, City of Torrance

  33. Mayor Erik Nasarenko, City of Ventura

  34. Mayor John Duran, City of West Hollywood

  35. Mayor Sylvia Ballin, City of San Fernando

“Electrifying buses is a big step forward in the local and global fight against the worst impacts of climate change. Lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions for electric buses are more than 70 percent less than the emissions from the diesel and natural gas buses currently on the road. The mayors’ support of zero-emission buses is another reason why CARB should require California public transit agencies to purchase 100 percent zero-emission buses by 2029,” said Dr. Jimmy O’Dea, senior vehicles analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists. 

Next month, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will host a public hearing on September 27, and board members will vote on the rulemaking, and the ICT is also expected to be discussed during the Governor’s Global Action Climate Summit, beginning September 12 in San Francisco. Take action now and tell CARB you support clean air and zero-emission transit for all here.

About Californians for Zero Emissions Vehicles (CalZEV) 
Californians for Zero Emissions Vehicles is a coalition of more than ten organizations and companies, including: AxleTech International, Inc., Brightline Defense, California Electric Transportation Coalition, Coltura, Green for All, Green Power Bus, EVgo, The Lion Electric Co., Motiv Power Systems, Plug In America, Proterra and Zoox. For more information, visit http://www.calzev.org and follow us on Twitter @Cal4ZEV.