CARB Zero-Emission Bus Mandate
The transportation sector in California accounts for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. To combat this, on December 14, 2018, California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) adopted a regulation that sets a statewide goal for public transit agencies to transition to fully zero-emission bus fleets by 2040. There are currently 150 zero-emission buses operating in California. Under the regulation, it is expected that number will climb to 1,000 by 2020 and ultimately to all 12,000 buses statewide by 2040. The regulations require submission of rollout plans by 2020 for large transit agencies and by 2023 for small transit agencies. By 2029, all new bus purchases are required to be zero-emission.
This measure is expected to reduce carbon emissions in California by 1 million metric tons by 2040. Additionally, putting more zero-emission buses on the roads will reduce energy consumption and provides cost savings for transit agencies in the long run.
Transit agencies are already making the move toward complete electrification. In the Bay Area, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has decided on an internal goal to electrify its Muni buses by 2035. In its report, CARB noted that 8 out of the 10 largest transit agencies in the state are already operating zero-emission buses.