OCTA will replace up to 55 support vehicles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) with an equal number that produce zero emissions. The existing vehicles are at the end of their lifespan.
“This is another important step for OCTA as we continue to provide safe, efficient and reliable vehicles that also take into consideration how to best protect our environment,” said OCTA Chairman Steve Jones, also the Mayor of Garden Grove.
The contract with Winner Chevrolet, a qualified state-approved contractor, is for up to $1.78 million and will provide for the purchase of 2020 Chevy Bolts. The Board of Directors expedited the purchase to take advantage of factory incentives that expired in August, helping save up to $55,000 overall.
The vehicles will be used primarily to relieve coach operators on duty in the field. Although a bus driver may work a shift of eight to 10 hours, the bus may remain in service up to 22 hours a day, requiring a new driver to meet the bus in route.
OCTA has taken several important steps this year to convert to zero-emission technology for a balanced and sustainable transportation future.
In January, OCTA debuted 10 new hydrogen fuel-cell electric buses, along with the nation’s largest hydrogen fueling station at its Santa Ana Bus Base. In April, the OCTA Board of Directors approved a request for quotes to purchase 10 plug-in battery-electric buses.
Then in June, the board approved a draft plan outlining how the agency will convert the OC Bus fleet to 100 percent zero-emission technology over the next 20 years.
The effort aligns with California’s Innovative Clean Transit Rule, a first-of-its kind regulation in the U.S. that sets a goal for public transit agencies to gradually transition to 100 percent zero-emission bus fleets by 2040.