The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) board recently approved several contracts for the purchase of electric and CNG buses.

In a unanimous vote, Metro’s board awarded a contract for 60 40-foot all-electric buses to local manufacturer BYD. This is among the largest single contracts for electric buses in U.S. history, and will directly lead to 59 new manufacturing jobs at the BYD factory in Lancaster, Calif.

Metro is expected to use the buses to electrify the Silver Line bus service, which runs throughout the county, from El Monte into Downtown Los Angeles and then south to San Pedro. This route covers a number of communities that have seen significant advocacy around environmental justice, with a severe need for this kind of investment in improved air quality.

Another contract approved is for the purchase of 35 60-foot articulated zero-emission buses from New Flyer to be used on the Orange Line. The board also approved another contract for the purchase of 65 60-foot CNG buses from New Flyer to replace buses purchased between 2004 and 2008, which will go into service between 2018 and 2022. The Metro Board last month also approved a contract to purchase 295 40-foot CNG buses from ENC, formerly ElDorado.

Finally, a contract was approved worth up to $26.5 million with Cummins Engines for up to 395 “near-zero emissions” CNG engines for existing buses.

The agency recently announced its attention to convert its fleet to all zero-emission vehicles by 2030 and retired its last diesel bus in 2011.

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