Infrastructure laws give California money for electric buses

Your bus could be electric in the near future, thanks to some federal funds.

Some transit and school buses in California are already electric. The California Air Resources Board, which sets state policy on air pollution, in 2018 required California’s transit bus fleets to be zero emissions by 2040. All purchases buses in 2029 and beyond must be battery-electric or fuel-cell electric, as mandated.

Federal funds can help in this endeavor. The Federal Transit Authority, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, announced its allocations for buses starting in fiscal year 2021. More than a dozen California transit agencies would receive federal funding to replace older transit buses:

The Sacramento Regional Transportation District got more than $5.2 million to replace older buses in general.

The Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority received nearly $4 million for electric bus infrastructure and equipment.

The Napa Valley Transportation Authority has secured nearly $8.5 million to replace old buses with electric buses.

The San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority has secured nearly $8.8 million for zero-emission buses.

Los Angeles County’s Torrance Transit Department will receive nearly $6.3 million for zero-emission buses.

Riverside has secured nearly $8.8 million for building hydrogen fueling stations and training staff.

SunLine Transit Agency will receive more than $8.4 million to purchase hydrogen fuel cell buses and refurbish compressed natural gas buses.

The Norwalk Transit System in LA County will receive more than $3.5 million to purchase zero-emission buses.

Santa Rosa’s CityBus will receive nearly $4.3 million for battery-electric buses.

The North County Transit District in northern San Diego County is getting $4.8 million for hydrogen fuel cell buses.

Cerritos will receive nearly $4.4 million for the electric buses.

Foothill Transit, which operates in the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, will receive more than $7.9 million for zero-emission buses.

The town of Arvin in the San Joaquin Valley will receive about $2.9 million for battery-electric buses and a microgrid to power them.

The Yosemite Area Regional Transit System got about $4.6 million to replace old buses in general.

The push for electric public transportation comes through President Joe Biden’s national push for green power. This summer, alongside major automakers, Biden signed an order for half of new cars sold in the United States by 2030 to be battery-electric, fuel-cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The Biden administration has often looked to California for clean energy policies. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an order in 2020 to make all new cars sold in the state by 2035 electric. It returned state authority to set its own emissions rules for cars this month.

Electric school buses in California

Terra Bella Union Elementary, Big Sur Unified School District, Center Joint Unified School District and Greenfield Union School District will together receive $980,000 in rebates for 12 cleaner buses.

The money comes from EPA beneficiaries of the American Rescue Plan and Diesel Emissions Reduction Act programs for electric school buses. Their funds will provide approximately $17 million across the United States to replace diesel school buses with electric or hybrid buses.

“The historic investments in clean transportation resulting from President Biden’s leadership will have lasting impacts on protecting clean air for children for generations,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said in a statement. a press release sent by e-mail.

The EPA has set aside more than $73 million to replace more than 3,000 diesel school buses since 2012, with a focus on underserved communities.

And the EPA plans to announce in the coming months a new Clean School Bus Program thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure law that was signed into law this fall. The law provides $5 billion over five years to replace diesel school buses with low- or zero-emission buses.

In Tulare County, Terra Bella Union Elementary will receive $600,000 for two electric school buses. This comes through American Rescue Plan Electric School Bus Rebates, which sets aside $7 million nationwide to purchase 23 zero-emission buses and charging infrastructure for underserved communities, tribal entities and private fleets serving schools. of these groups.

Big Sur Unified School District in Monterey County will receive $20,000 for one bus, Sacramento County Central Unified School District will receive $260,000 for four buses, and Greenfield Unified School District in Kern County will receive $100. $000 for five buses through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act School Bus Discount.

The program has awarded about $10 million nationwide this year to replace 444 old diesel school buses with greener ones.

This story was originally published March 18, 2022 5:00 a.m.

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Gillian Brassil is the congressional reporter for McClatchy’s California Publications. She covers federal policies, people, and issues impacting the Golden State from Capitol Hill. She graduated from Stanford University.

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