The Transportation Advisory Commission (TAC) has voted unanimously to support the adoption of the Pasadena Zero Emission Bus Roll Out Plan that provides the roadmap to transition the City’s public transit fleet to a zero emission bus (ZEB) fleet.
The plan was developed by the transportation department to meet the California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirement for all public transit operators in California to transition to 100 percent ZEB fleets by 2040.
It identifies the proposed roadmap to transition the Pasadena transit fleet to a full deployment of a ZEB fleet by 2037 and start the transition as early as 2023.
The transportation department is recommending that the City pursue a mixed fleet with a Battery Electric Bus (BEB) Pasadena Dial-A-Ride fleet and Fuel Cell Electric Bus (FCEB) Pasadena Transit fleet in order to meet the operating needs of the Pasadena Transit and Pasadena Dial-A-Ride systems.
“Both technologies are similar in the sense that they are electric buses. BEBs hold the charge on the batteries and power the bus while the fuel cell creates electricity on the bus and empowers the bus with the fuel cells,” City Principal Planner Sebastián Hernández said.
Hernández said although the long-term recommended plan is to transition to a mixed fleet of Fuel Cell Electric buses and Battery Electric buses, a Pasadena Transit BEB fleet will be initially pursued while the fuel cell infrastructure is being developed.
Aside from the ZEB technology that will be implemented under the plan, the Rollout Plan also identifies the infrastructure needed, a training plan for drivers and maintenance staff, and potential funding sources to advance the plan’s implementation.
The full funding amount needed to support the transition to the mixed ZEB transit fleet including the investment in building a transit facility, is estimated at $61.72 million between 2022 and 2040.
The city has until July 1, 2023 to adopt the “ZEB Rollout Plan.” Staff is planning to submit the Rollout Plan to the Municipal Services Committee in January 2023.
Pending the Municipal Services Committee’s recommendation for adoption, the city staff will submit the Rollout Plan to the City Council for adoption.
Once adopted, staff will submit the Rollout Plan to CARB and will pursue local, state and federal competitive grant funding opportunities to advance implementation of the plan, according to Hernández.