Placer County takes step toward green public transportation

Published Feb. 17, 2021

Placer County residents could see zero emission buses traveling around North Lake Tahoe as soon as 2023 as part of a county-wide effort to go green. The Board of Supervisors approved spending $345,000 for a zero emission bus feasibility and transition plan that will study the best way to roll out a zero emission bus fleet over a 20-year period.

The study will analyze the county’s current bus fleet and future needs for both Placer County Transit and Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit. Zero emission facility concepts and a phasing strategy will be developed along with a transition plan and timeline. The study will evaluate infrastructure for both electric and hydrogen-fueled fleets.

“Placer continues to prioritize and invest in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Deputy Director of Public Works Will Garner. “We are excited to move forward with a step-by-step plan of how we will implement zero emission public transit using an accelerated timeline.”

The county plans to roll out the first of its green buses in 2023. State regulation requires all public transportation agencies in California transition to zero emission buses by 2040. Beginning in 2026, 25% of new bus purchases must be zero emission with 100% of all new bus purchases by 2029. The study will meet the requirement of the California Air Resources Board to submit a zero emission rollout plan by July 1, 2023. 

The study will be partially funded with state grant dollars specific to green transportation efforts. WSP USA Inc., who specializes in zero emission bus implementation, was elected to complete the evaluation.