The Clean Air Express battery electric bus features a 220-mile range that easily meets the longest round trip in service of 150 miles. The all-electric bus combined with the replacement of a diesel bus eliminates 450 tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to CO2 emissions from more than 80 residential homes’ electricity use for one year. Through a partnership with Central Coast Community Energy, the bus is charged at SBCAG’s Transit Facility in Goleta with 100% renewable electricity.
“We know that transportation is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States,” said SBCAG Board of Directors Chair Das Williams. “A switch to cleaner, quieter, and smoother public transit options is a switch in the right direction, one that is imperative for our future – for our children and neighbors. Today we see just how the zero-emission vehicle industry’s evolving technology is changing the game for long-range transportation options improving the efficiency, experience, and commuter benefits to save energy and the environment.”
The Clean Air Express serves more than 7,000 passengers each per month with nine weekday round trips. The commuter bus service supports residents of Lompoc, Santa Maria, Buellton, Solvang, and adjacent unincorporated areas in North Santa Barbara County commuting to jobs in Goleta and Santa Barbara.
“All-electric buses serving long-distance commuters are the way forward to cleaner and healthier transportation options for all Californians,” said California State Senator Monique Limón. “I am proud that Santa Barbara County is among the first communities in the nation to provide an all-electric commuter bus as California transitions to zero-emission public transportation vehicles.”
Of the $850,000 cost of the all-electric bus, Caltrans provided $500,000 in SB 1 funds from the State Rail Assistance Program. SB 1 provides $5 billion in transportation funding annually split between the state and local agencies. Road construction and transit projects progress more quickly based on the availability of SB 1 funds, including projects that are partially funded by SB 1. For more information about other transportation projects funded by SB 1, visit RebuildingCA.ca.gov.
“Critical SB 1 investments like this help connect communities and reduce environmental impacts from transportation,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “Caltrans is committed to doing its part to achieve California’s carbon neutrality goal no later than 2045, and projects like this are an important component of that effort.”
The Clean Air Express was created by the Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District in 1990 to improve regional air quality by reducing the number of commuters driving alone. SBCAG assumed management of Clean Air Express in 2001 and has since expanded the service by purchasing new buses, adding payment flexibility, installing wireless internet access on all buses, and modernizing the customer’s online experience. The public can access easy-to-read information on the commuter bus service schedules, fares, and simple options to contact customer service by visiting the Clean Air Express website at www.cleanairexpress.com.