BYD (Build Your Dreams) announced it joined officials with the Napa Valley Transportation Authority in St. Helena for a ribbon cutting and unveiling of the community’s “butterfly bus," which will serve passengers in wine country, according to the company's news release.
Attendees included St. Helena Mayor Geoff Emmerson, NVTA Executive Director Kate Miller, Rebecca Shenk, NVTA Transit Director, and officials from BYD. The bus, put into service Thursday, features a large butterfly design, according to BYD.
NVTA, which serves as the countywide transportation planning agency, said it is transforming its fleet of older buses into an all-electric fleet in an effort to provide the community with long-lasting and clean transit options.
On Tuesday in nearby Yountville, the agency unveiled a bus with a design that features a honeybee. Other designs include a hummingbird and a hawk.
Mayor Emmerson pointed out that pollinators like the butterfly and honeybee are important to the economy of the region, which is the heart of California’s Wine Country.
“NVTA is proud to have partnered with BYD on its first-ever electrical vehicles,” Shenk said. “These five new electric vehicles are a strong start to NVTA transitioning to a 100% zero-emission fleet ahead of the deadline set by the California Air Resource Board. At 30 ft long, these vehicles are very nimble and perfect for operating on-demand bus services.”
Patrick Duan, BYD SVP of operations, congratulated the agency.
“The NVTA will have safe, reliable public transportation with their new, full- fleet of zero-emission BYD buses,” Duan said. “We are as excited watching the community adopt a truly innovative and clean solution for their residents and visitors.”
The bus fleet was built by members of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation (SMART) workers union, Local 105, in BYD’s manufacturing facility located in Lancaster, Calif.