SamTrans will have 17 battery-electric buses operating as part of its fleet by the end of December and will launch the first of 10 FCEBs later this winter.  -  Photo: New Flyer

SamTrans will have 17 battery-electric buses operating as part of its fleet by the end of December and will launch the first of 10 FCEBs later this winter.

Photo: New Flyer

The California-based San Mateo County Transit District’s (SamTrans) board approved the purchase of up to 108 hydrogen fuel-cell electric buses (FCEBs) at its December meeting, moving SamTrans closer to its Emission Zero goal of entirely transitioning its fleet away from diesel by 2034.

“We’re very excited about expanding the use of these zero-emission vehicles,” said Board Chair Josh Powell. “The buses proposed for purchase have a range of 300 miles or more when fully fueled, which will meet or exceed the route needs within the district.” 

Impact of FCEBs

When the FCEBs enter revenue service within the next few years, they will replace 16- to 17-year-old diesel buses that have exceeded their useful lifespan.

The contract for the 108 new 40-foot low-floor FCEB buses is being awarded to New Flyer, with a contract price not to exceed $168.25 million.

The Move to ZEBs

The board’s purchase approval helps the district add to its growing number of zero-emission vehicles set for service in San Mateo County. SamTrans will have 17 battery-electric buses operating as part of its fleet by the end of December and will launch the first of 10 FCEBs later this winter.

The contract also allows for the purchase of FCEBs to support new routes included in the Reimagine SamTrans service plan with a focus on historically underserved communities.

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