The San Mateo County Transit District Board of Directors has given the green light for the largest zero-emission bus purchase in the agency’s history.
The approval, granted at the December meeting, paves the way for SamTrans to acquire up to 108 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) as part of its ambitious plan to transition its entire fleet away from diesel by 2034.
Board of Directors Chair Josh Powell expresses enthusiasm about the expansion of zero-emission vehicles.
He states, “We’re very excited about expanding the use of these zero-emission vehicles.”
Powell highlightes that the proposed buses boast a range of 300 miles or more when fully fueled, exceeding the route needs within the district.
The introduction of the FCEBs into revenue service in the coming years will mark the retirement of 16- to 17-year-old diesel buses that have surpassed their useful lifespan, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable transit system.
The contract for the procurement of 108 new 40-foot low-floor FCEB buses has been awarded to New Flyer of America, with a contract price not to exceed $168.25 million.
This strategic move underscores the commitment of SamTrans to invest in cutting-edge technology that aligns with its environmental goals.
By the end of December, SamTrans will have 17 battery electric buses (BEBs) actively operating within its fleet.
Additionally, the agency plans to launch the first of the 10 FCEBs later this winter, further reinforcing its commitment to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly public transportation system.
The approved contract also includes provisions for the purchase of FCEBs to support new routes outlined in the Reimagine SamTrans service plan, with a particular emphasis on historically underserved communities.
This initiative aims to enhance accessibility and reduce transportation disparities in the region.
The San Mateo County Transit District operates 71 routes and two on-demand service areas.
Funded in part by a half-cent sales tax, the district also provides administrative support for Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority.
SamTrans has provided bus service to San Mateo County customers since 1976.