CA: Sonoma County buys more Proterra electric buses


Sonoma County in California announced the purchase of ten battery-electric buses by Proterra to replace ten compressed natural gas buses. The new buses shall arrive in the summer of 2024 and join six other all-electric buses expected to arrive in June.

This will bring up the total number of electric buses in Sonoma County services to 19 since there are currently three e-buses in the county’s 49-bus fleet. With this purchase, Sonoma County Transit will have nearly 40 per cent of its fleet electrically powered.

The move comes in response to the California Air Resources Board rules that require all new public transit buses purchased after 2029 to be zero-emission vehicles, with a goal that all fossil-fueled buses in California be retired by 2040.

Proterra, based in California, builds buses that are eligible for purchase using local, state, and federal funding sources. For the models coming to Sonoma County, the state’s zero-emission truck and bus voucher incentive provided the manufacturer with a discount of $120,000 per bus. It reduced the county’s net cost of each vehicle. The cost of each bus is $1,028,704 and includes an extended five-year all-inclusive warranty, freight, and sales tax.

The vehicles coming to Sonoma County will have a range of up to 300 miles. Inside, these feature high-back reclining passenger seats, a video security system, onboard Wi-Fi, the NextBus passenger information system, electronic fareboxes and other safety systems common to Sonoma County Transit’s fleet.

The new buses will be deployed on Sonoma County Transit’s main intercity routes between Monte Rio, Santa Rosa and Sonoma (Routes 20 and 30) and between Petaluma, Santa Rosa and Cloverdale (Routes 44, 48 and 60). Sonoma County Transit deployed its first all-electric bus on the fare-free Sebastopol Shuttle (Route 24) in 2018.

“With this investment, Sonoma County jumps to the head of the class when it comes to achieving California’s zero-emissions targets,” said Chris Coursey, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “There’s no better representation of our commitment to climate action and resiliency than transitioning our public transportation infrastructure to zero emissions ahead of schedule.”

The Board approved the purchase today on a unanimous vote.

Proterra buses have also been put in service by the cities of Santa Rosa and Napa.



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