Marin Transit Welcomes First Zero-Emissions Buses to Fleet

Marin Transit celebrated the arrival of its first two entirely electric, zero-emissions buses on Tuesday, October 16 outside the Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium.

Photo by Joel Williams


Published: November, 2018


Marin Transit celebrated the arrival of its first two entirely electric, zero-emissions buses on Tuesday, October 16 outside the Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium. Congressman Jared Huffman, Assem-blymember Marc Levine, Supervisor Kate Sears, Supervisor Katie Rice, Marin Transit Board Chair Stephanie Moulton-Peters and Golden Gate Bridge Board President Sabrina Hernandez were all on hand to welcome the new green vehicles.


“I’m thrilled to join Marin Transit and my colleagues in Sacramento and Marin County to welcome these new electric buses to California’s Second Congressional District,” Congressman Huffman said. “Our district is making important strides towards a clean energy future.”


The two 35-foot, slow-charge battery electric buses are part of a pilot program to test fully electric vehicles on Marin County’s busy corridors and hilly areas. Upon delivery in late September, Marin Transit’s partner Golden Gate Transit began testing the two buses and training drivers on proper operation of the vehicles. Additional testing and training will occur before deploying the electric buses on regular Marin Transit routes.


“We’re thrilled for Marin Transit to pilot zero-emissions buses on its routes,” said Katie Rice, Marin County supervisor and Bay Area Air Quality Management District board member. “Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be learning a lot more about how electric buses perform on our hills and in our traffic.”


“This project supports our state economy,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine. “These buses were manufactured here in California, at a plant in Lancaster with an all-union workforce of 820 employees.”


The buses were purchased at a cost of $1.6 million from BYD, a leader in zero-emissions buses. The purchase was funded by a combination of grants from the Federal Transit Administration and Bay Area Air Quality Management District as well as funds from Marin County’s Measure A local transportation sales tax and Measure B vehicle registration fee. The California Air Resources Board is also supporting the purchase through a voucher incentive program for the manufacturer.


The buses, which can seat 32 passengers, will charge overnight and be operated on Marin Transit local routes by Golden Gate Transit. Charging infrastructure has been installed already. The advertised range of the buses is 145 miles per charge, but heat and hills reduce the range. The buses will first operate no more than 80 miles per day as both transit agencies learn about the buses’ capabilities.


“Public transit is a boon for the environment,” said Supervisor Kate Sears, a Marin Transit board member. “Buses produce 30 percent fewer greenhouse gases on average compared to single-occupancy vehicles. Marin Transit’s new electric bus purchases and its increasing reliance on renewable diesel for hybrid and standard buses add to the environmental reasons for residents and tourists to get out of their cars and onto a bus.”


Marin County Transit District Board President and Transportation Authority of Marin Board Chair Stephanie Moulton-Peters added: “These new buses represent the progress we can make when federal, state and local government work together to invest in green technology. We’re grateful for the support from Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District, Marin Clean Energy, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Transportation Authority of Marin and their commitment to reducing carbon emissions.”


“Electric buses are exciting in so many ways,” said Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District Board President Sabrina Hernandez. “In addition to the positive impact on air quality and the environment, we can’t wait for our riders and our communities to experience the quiet and smooth ride of an electric bus.”


Since introducing hybrid electric buses in 2010, Marin Transit has been greening its fleet with available clean and cleaner technologies and renewable fuels. In addition to the agency’s investments in hybrid-electric technology, 82 percent of Marin Transit’s fleet uses renewable fuel, which can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 90 percent.

The two 35-foot electric buses hold 32 passengers each. They will charge overnight and operate approximately 80 miles during the day. Photo by Joel Williams

The electric buses were manufactured in California and purchased at a cost of $1.6 million with grants and funds from multiple sources. Photo by Joel Williams