AC Transit, the public transit agency serving the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, is making significant strides toward a greener and more sustainable future with the procurement of 25 state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cell buses and the development of a cutting-edge training and education center called Zero Emissions Bus University.
This progress is made possible by a newly-awarded $25.5 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s 2023 Bus and Low-and No-Emission Grant Awards (Low-No Grant).
The Low-No Grant program aims to support projects that demonstrate a tangible commitment to building a greener and more sustainable public transportation system. AC Transit’s successful grant application has brought them closer to realizing their goals.
With the infusion of $25.5 million, AC Transit now needs only $8 million more to acquire the 25 additional hydrogen fuel cell buses. Currently, the agency operates 58 battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric buses, showcasing their dedication to zero-emission technologies. The addition of these new buses will further enhance AC Transit’s fleet and contribute to cleaner and more efficient transportation options.
A significant portion of the grant funds, amounting to $16 million, will be allocated to the design and construction of Zero Emissions Bus University, also known as ZEB U. This ambitious project aims to transform AC Transit’s existing Training and Education Center into a state-of-the-art learning lab that embraces the ideals of the 21st century. The total cost of the project is estimated at $18 million, with AC Transit actively seeking opportunities to secure the remaining $2 million.
Zero Emissions Bus University will serve as a hub for training and education, equipping transit personnel with the necessary skills and knowledge to operate and maintain zero-emission buses effectively. By investing in workforce development, AC Transit aims to build a capable and skilled workforce that can support their zero-emissions future.
AC Transit plans to integrate the new hydrogen fuel cell buses into revenue service and complete the construction of Zero Emissions Bus University by 2026. This timeline reflects the agency’s commitment to timely implementation and the realization of their sustainable transportation vision.
The $1.3 million from the grant earmarked for workforce development will provide crucial support for training programs and initiatives that align with AC Transit’s zero-emission goals. By investing in the development of a skilled workforce, AC Transit ensures the long-term success and sustainability of their zero-emissions initiatives.