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L.A. Mayor Announces Largest Order of Electric Buses in U.S. History

L.A. Mayor announces largest order of electric buses in US history

February 21, 2020

The first of 155 electric buses purchased by Los Angeles will be delivered in March, city officials said Thursday as they announced the largest order of such vehicles ever placed by an American city.

“The clean transportation revolution is not a distant dream, it’s happening on Los Angeles’ streets right now,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news conference. “Seeing these zero-emission buses rolling down our roads in the years ahead will bring us one step closer to realizing our vision of cleaner air, lower emissions, healthier communities and a more sustainable future for all Angelenos.”

“Cleaner air, less noise, more jobs, what is not to love,” Garcetti said.

Most of the buses will come from Los Angeles-based manufacturer BYD, while Bay Area bus company Proterra will provide 25.

Garcetti made the announcement at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s new bus maintenance yard. The three-acre facility sports solar panel canopies and EV charging infrastructure, and can hold up to 70 buses at a time.

“If we do not get off fossil fuels, we are killing our kids and their planet,” L.A. Councilman Mike Bonin said.  “Fortunately, Los Angeles has the ability to make a big impact in combating the climate crisis. Moving to a fleet of electric buses is an important step.”

Bonin said he, the mayor and the Los Angeles County Electric Bus and Truck Coalition worked to make the purchase happen.

Initially, Garcetti’s plan was for the city’s bus fleet become zero-emission by 2030, however, he accelerated the plan by two years in time for the 2028 Summer Olympic and Paralympic games, which will be held in Los Angeles.

By this summer, the first 25 buses will be in service and the remaining 130 will arrive in 2021, LADOT officials said. Additionally, Angelenos can expect to see as many as 10,000 new electric vehicle chargers installed across the Southland by 2022.

The city’s entire fleet totals 370 buses, so the city must still purchase additional zero-emission buses to fulfill the mayor’s 2028 goal.

“Los Angeles is making a bold investment in a clean transportation future,” LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds said. “These 155 buses will save the city money on fuel costs and improve air quality and health for families across the region we serve.”

“We see how much this matters,” she said. “It matters to my two daughters, it matters to me. It matters to all of the people who live, who work and need to thrive in this city.”

The bus purchase was funded by a series of federal and state grants as well as matching city funds. It cost the city $104 million to purchase 155 buses. The city has a remaining $23 million in grant money to purchase additional buses.

City News Service contributed to this story.