Octa's transportation blog

State Transportation Leader Tours OCTA Hydrogen Fueling Station

California State Transportation Agency Secretary David S. Kim met with leaders from OCTA last week to learn more about OCTA’s zero-emission bus pilot program.

OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson hosted Secretary Kim at OCTA’s Santa Ana bus base, where the agency’s hydrogen fueling station is located.

“OCTA is a leader in testing zero-emission bus technology, and it was an honor to share our efforts with CalSTA Secretary Kim,” Johnson said. “Our hydrogen fuel cell electric bus program is just one component of OCTA’s efforts to develop a balanced and sustainable transportation system that will help bring even cleaner air quality to Orange County.”

OCTA began operating ten 40-foot hydrogen fuel cell electric buses in early 2020. The buses are deployed on regular OC Bus routes within disadvantaged communities in Orange County.

The buses are fueled at OCTA’s Santa Ana bus base. OCTA’s hydrogen fueling station is the largest in the nation for public transportation.

“Hydrogen fuel-cell buses are a key strategy to rapidly reduce dependence on fossil fuels and realize an electrified future for the transportation sector, and California is leading the way,” Secretary Kim said. “Under Governor Gavin Newsom, the state is making historic investments in zero-emission transportation, and Orange County can serve as a model for that transition.”

In addition to its hydrogen fuel cell electric bus pilot program, OCTA will also be testing ten plug-in battery electric buses in the coming months. These buses will operate out of OCTA’s Garden Grove bus base.

Testing both types of zero-emission buses will help determine which technology – or mix of technologies – will work best for Orange County moving forward.

OCTA’s efforts align with California’s Innovative Clean Transit regulation, 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. The Innovative Clean Transit regulation is part of the state’s comprehensive program helping to achieve California’s air quality and climate goals.