With a rare and welcome unanimous vote on Monday, September 20, 2021, the Culver City Council opened the way for electric buses to keep Culver CityBus at the forefront of clean public transportation.
According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, transportation accounts for 29% of all green house gas emissions.
Mike Tobin, the city’s deputy transportation officer, gave the staff presentation, noting that “This is especially salient for our community, since, like the rest of LA county, we are in a ‘non-attainment zone,’ meaning we are an areas that does not meet the national standards for air quality.”
In the past, this meant moving buses from gasoline to natural gas. Today, this means moving from natural gas to electrification. “By transitioning to electric buses, we can save 4340 tons of tailpipe emissions. Of course, this means cleaner air.” Tobin added that this move was mandated by the state of California, specifically the California Air Resources Board, which requires all vehicles to be zero emissions by the year 2040.
Phase one would bring four electric buses to the fleet. An additional six buses would bring the total to ten, meeting the state mandate by 2028, more than a decade early. With almost all the ramp up for the program already approved – two of the buses had already been delivered to the city – the Monday night meeting was about approving the final, long-term electrification plan.
The first electric bus will be running on various routes for the upcoming schedule, so that all the bus riders will have a chance to experience it.
Rolando Cruz, the city’s Director of Transportation, noted that the electric bus could be ‘found’ on the Culver CityBus app with a small ‘lightning bolt’ insignia to discover which route it would be running on which day.
All council members voted to approve.