Padilla Announces Over $233 Million for Low- and Zero-Emission California Commuter Buses

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced that the Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded over $233.9 million to 16 California projects to help transition to low- and zero-emission bus models across the state. The funding comes through the Federal Transit Agency’s (FTA) Low or No Emission (Low-No) grant program and Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities program. Padilla supported the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s substantial increase in funding for these programs.

The Low-No program helps transit agencies buy or lease U.S.-made low- or no-emission buses and make critical facility, station, and charging upgrades to facilitate this transition. The Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities program provides federal funding for transit agencies to buy and rehabilitate buses and vans and build and modernize bus facilities.

“For too long, communities along busy transit corridors — especially lower income communities — have felt the impact of poor air quality,” said Senator Padilla. “This substantial investment in the transition to low- and zero-emission buses will protect public health and promote a cleaner commute for millions of Californians. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is not only building a more sustainable, dependable transportation system, but also building the workforce needed to deploy modern technology.”

Recipients of funding from the Low-No and Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities programs include:

  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) — $77.54 million: This funding will help LA Metro buy dozens of battery electric buses and install new chargers at its West Hollywood bus yard, strengthening transit service while making environmental and air quality improvements. The buses will run on multiple lines and enhance access and mobility with direct access to all Metro rail lines.
  • Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) — $76.85 million: This funding will help SacRT buy new hydrogen fuel cell buses to replace older buses, modernize a maintenance facility and initiate a workforce development program. The project will create jobs and improve service, reliability, and air quality as SacRT works to convert its fleet to entirely zero emission by 2028.
  • Western Contra Costa Transit Authority — $20.65 million: This funding will help the Western Contra Costa Transit Authority buy hydrogen fuel cell buses to replace older diesel buses and expand its hydrogen fueling station and maintenance facilities. This project will provide workforce training to support WCCTA’s transition to an entirely zero-emission fleet and improve regional air quality.
  • Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) — $15 million: This funding will help AC transit buy new hydrogen fuel cell buses to replace older diesel buses and expand existing hydrogen fueling facilities. The funds will also initiate a workforce development program, which will help train staff on zero-emission bus technologies and improve service and reliability while also improving air quality.
  • City of Commerce Transit — $14.23 million: This funding will help the City of Commerce Transit buy battery electric buses, charging equipment, and supporting infrastructure to replace older compressed natural gas and diesel- powered buses. The new vehicles will improve fleet reliability and enhance access and mobility to underserved communities by increasing trip frequency on existing routes.

The full list of awards for California is available here. Senator Padilla has championed the transition from diesel-powered buses to zero-emission vehicles, including through his bicameral Clean Commute For Kids Act. Last year, Padilla applauded over $184 million from the Low-No program and the FY 2023 Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities program to support the transition to zero- and low-emission buses. He also announced over $179 million for California through a pair of Clean School Bus program rounds earlier this year, and he applauded over $68 million for California school buses in FY22. Last month, Padilla announced $65 million for California transportation infrastructure projects through the FY 2024 Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grants program.