Santa Barbara MTD Plans Zero-Emissions by 2030

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Santa Barbara MTD Plans Zero-Emissions by 2030
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(Photo: Community Environmental Council)

Source: MTD Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara MTD’s Board of Directors has adopted a goal of a 100 percent zero-emissions fleet by the year 2030.

Santa Barbara MTD has long been a forerunner in the battery-electric bus space, having run the first electric bus fleet in the United States back in 1991. MTD still boasts the second largest active electric bus fleet in California with 14 fully battery-electric buses out of a total fleet of 112.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is expected to adopt new Innovative Clean Transit Standards in 2019, mandating phased future purchasing of buses for California transit operators be zero-emission. The goal MTD adopted today would meet those requirements on a faster schedule.

“We are committed to making this happen. The whole team at Santa Barbara MTD is proud of our pioneering work in battery-electric transit, and we look forward to continuing to lead the industry towards a zero-emissions future,” said Jerry Estrada, General Manager of Santa Barbara MTD.

“Meeting this goal will be a challenge, but our partners in the region and in the transit industry have made a commitment to helping us get there. The MTD Board of Directors knows that it is the right thing to do for our agency, our community, and our planet,” said MTD Board Chair Dave Davis.

Michael Chiacos, Director of Energy and Climate Programs at Community Environmental Council lauded the goal adoption, saying, “Community Environmental Council congratulates Santa Barbara MTD for continuing their electric bus leadership with this 100% electric bus goal. Zero emission electric buses powered by renewable energy will be cleaner for our air, quieter for our neighborhoods, and show the world we can lead on climate change solutions. CEC hopes MTD’s leadership will spur other fleets and the public to consider electric vehicles, which are now surprisingly affordable and available in dozens of models.”

"We salute the MTD board for adopting a 100% electric bus goal. Diesel pollution causes cancer, asthma and contributes to climate change. It is particularly important to show a commitment to carbon-free transportation now as California grapples with a year-round fire season driven by climate change,” said Katie Davis, Sierra Club Santa Barbara Group Chair. “By setting this goal, MTD can plan this transition, build the necessary charging infrastructure, send a market signal to bus manufacturers, and set Santa Barbara on the path to 100% clean, quiet electric buses powered by 100% renewable energy." 

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Shasta Guy Nov 25, 2018 09:50 AM
Santa Barbara MTD Plans Zero-Emissions by 2030

Thanks for the links Eastbeach to add to the back story. If these buses operate during the day then solar can’t be the renewable charging them. Wind power at night? I’m all for cleaner public transportation. I don’t see why particle filters haven’t been required for bus exhaust. This town got gas powered leaf blowers “banned”.

pstarSR Nov 25, 2018 11:43 AM
Santa Barbara MTD Plans Zero-Emissions by 2030

If they have energy storage ( aka batteries ) then sure solar could be used to charge these. let alone if they have a large enough fleet, ones can be charging during the day and swapped out when ones battery depletes ( half day/ lunch visit back to the yard and trade ). diesel particulate filters only do so much, diesel fuel is not a fix for our pollution problems, we really need to stop thinking it is.

EastBeach Nov 25, 2018 10:25 AM
Santa Barbara MTD Plans Zero-Emissions by 2030

Currently for Proterra, it looks like 3 to 6 hours at the depot depending on the type of charger. There are other charging strategies where the bus takes a break during its route to charge for 5 minutes. I'd guess they'll work solar into the mix if feasible. I thought diesel vehicles already have particulate fitlers? More info here .......

EastBeach Nov 25, 2018 09:24 AM
Santa Barbara MTD Plans Zero-Emissions by 2030

Based on what I've read, the lower operating costs of electric buses vs. diesel buses more than make up for the difference in purchase price over the life of the bus. And that doesn't include public health benefits. Plus prices are expected to go down as the worldwide fleet converts. In the U.S. we have Proterra who says they can't make their buses fast enough. References (apologies for the ugly links)
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Shasta Guy Nov 25, 2018 08:49 AM
Santa Barbara MTD Plans Zero-Emissions by 2030

Here's a link to a powerpoint presentation out of Sacramento about the rollout of zero emission buses: Slide 5 puts the current cost of one type of zero emission bus at $750,000. At $2 a ride, it's only 375,000 passenger trips to pay one off. Who knows if this this is the type of bus SB is signing up for. Your tax dollars at work, both state and local.

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