Released by: Transportation & Public Works
For Immediate Release

Sonoma County Transit Deploys First Electric Bus
on Fare-Free “Sebastopol Shuttle"

State Funding Secured for Two Additional Zero-Emission
Buses in Move Toward All-Electric Fleet

Santa Rosa, CA  –  December 5, 2018  –  TPW logo thumb

The Department of Transportation and Public Works (TPW) today announced that Sonoma County Transit’s first zero-emission all-electric bus will be set in motion on Sebastopol Local Route 24, the Sebastopol Shuttle, following an unveiling event with City and County officials and community leaders at the Sebastopol Transit Hub on Monday, December 10 at 10:30 a.m. The new bus launches the County’s transition to an all-electric fleet in advance of anticipated regulations by the California Air Resources Board requiring that all new public transit buses purchased after 2029 be zero-emission vehicles, with a goal that all buses in California are zero-emission by 2040.

“Sonoma County Transit has been a leader in clean-fuel and low-emission buses since 1996 when it began transitioning from diesel power to natural gas power,” Sonoma County Transit Director, Bryan Albee, said. “Today, we’re proud to be moving toward a zero-emission fleet thanks to Sonoma County’s commitment to remaining at the forefront of technology in transportation.”

The 30-foot heavy-duty coach was built in Lancaster, California, and has a capacity of twenty-two passengers and a battery range of 137 miles. Onboard amenities include wireless internet, USB charging ports, and the NextBus/NextStop passenger information system.

“Public transit provides essential access to major medical, educational, and commercial destinations,”Board of Supervisors Chair and District Four Supervisor, James Gore, said. “Our move toward a zero-emission fleet is a natural next step in meeting the County’s strategic goal of enhancing residents’ mobility in a way that supports safe, healthy, and caring communities.”

“It’s fitting that the County’s first all-electric bus will begin service in Sebastopol, the progressive heart of Sonoma County,”Lynda Hopkins, District Five Supervisor, said. “This is an important step to support our work in addressing social, economic, and environmental quality of life issues in creative ways.”

“With this new all-electric bus, Sonoma County is leading the charge statewide on zero-emission transit,”Shirlee Zane, District Two Supervisor, said. “It’s an important example of local government doing its part to ensure access to both clean air and reliable transportation across communities.”

The new zero-emission all-electric Sebastopol Shuttle is one of three routes subsidized by local cities that enables all passengers to ride free of charge. Other “fare-free” routes include Route 66, the Windsor Shuttle, and Route 67, the Healdsburg Shuttle. Sonoma County Transit officials are working with additional municipalities to expand the fare-free program. Since 2015, Sonoma County Transit has provided free rides to college students and veterans.

Funding for the transition to an all-electric fleet comes from a combination of state programs including the Low-Carbon Transit Operations program and the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Initiative program. Two additional all-electric buses are expected to be added to the Sonoma County fleet in 2020 for service along local routes in Windsor, Rohnert Park, and Cotati. The buses will be equipped with inductive charging to allow for in-route charging at layover points at the Windsor Depot and the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport.

For more information regarding the new zero-emission all-electric bus, or for general information about Sonoma County Transit, please visit www.sctransit.comor contact (707) 576-7433.

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