San Carlos, Calif.’s SamTrans held a press conference on board one of its new electric buses, highlighting the features of this new piece of technology and laying out the agency’s plan to convert to a fully zero-emissions fleet.
The SamTrans Board voted in March to replace 10 of the oldest diesel vehicles in the fleet with new electric battery-powered buses, manufactured by Burlingame-based Proterra Inc. This is the first purchase of zero-emission vehicles in the agency’s history. SamTrans is currently looking to replace the entirety of its fleet with zero-emissions vehicles by 2032.
The new 40-foot buses have USB charging ports on all double seats, as well as the capability for Wi-Fi. In addition, they have a low floor design, which will mean that the buses will be equipped with ramps rather than lifts, and Q-Pod wheelchair restraint systems to secure wheelchair users that are easier for operators and include additional safety features beyond the existing ratchet-based system.
“Improving our environment is a fundamental part of SamTrans’ mission statement,” said SamTrans GM/CEO Jim Hartnett. “As state government contemplates setting 2040 as the deadline for transit agencies going zero emission, it’s our responsibility to stay ahead of the curve so we can continue to serve our riders and push back against traffic congestion.”