San Carlos, Calif.’s SamTrans is furthering its commitment to environmental sustainability by adding 10 new electric buses to its fleet later this year. The buses use hydrogen fuel cells to create the electricity that powers the motors.
Charging Ahead with Zero Emission Buses
During its May meeting, the San Mateo County Transit District board approved a couple of key contracts to make the operation of those buses at the district’s North Base facility in South San Francisco a reality.
RMS Construction is now contracted to modify the maintenance bays at North Base to accommodate the safety needs presented when working with hydrogen in an enclosed space. To do the work safely, more ventilation and modifications to electrical infrastructure are necessary, plus the bays need to be partitioned from the rest of the maintenance building.
Plug Power has the contract to deliver and set up an interim fueling system for the buses and will also provide two-years worth of hydrogen at a fixed price. SamTrans also negotiated an option to extend that contract after two years if the district’s permanent fueling stations aren’t yet ready for operation.
SamTrans expects the first of these 10 new FCEBs could head into operation sometime in November. The district is scheduled to have a totally zero-emission bus fleet by 2034, six years ahead of California’s 2040 deadline for transit agencies.