Sonoma County Transit’s Zero-Emission Bus Rollout Plan Approved

May 23, 2023


The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today adopted a plan that ensures within five years all new county public transit buses purchased will be zero-emission vehicles and all fossil-fueled buses will be retired within 17 years, in accordance with state law.

The board unanimously approved the Innovate Clean Transit Zero-Emission Bus Rollout Plan to meet the California Air Resources Board requirement that all new public transit buses purchased after 2029 be zero-emission vehicles and all fossil-fueled buses in California be retired by 2040. To date, Sonoma County Transit has purchased 19 battery-electric buses, representing approximately 40 percent of the county’s 49-bus fleet.

“Electrification of the county’s transit fleet will continue to be a top priority, consistent with the Climate Action and Resiliency pillar of Sonoma County’s Strategic Plan,” said Supervisor Chris Coursey. “But with 40 percent of local transit passengers representing disadvantaged groups and 40 percent of routes serving underprivileged communities, this plan also reinforces the county’s work toward healthy and safe communities, organizational excellence, resilient infrastructure and social justice.”

In addition to replacing the current fleet of compressed natural gas coaches, Sonoma County Transit will need to purchase and install new electric charging facilities and backup generators, estimated to cost more than $9 million. The projected cost to replace the remaining bus fleet is more than $50 million. Sonoma County Transit is pursuing capital assistance from the state Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program and federal Low or No Emission vehicle capital funding program, including grant requests equaling approximately $26 million.

The California Air Resources Board’s Innovative Clean Transit regulations were established in 2019 and apply to the majority of Sonoma County Transit’s fleet. Due to their size, paratransit vehicles are not currently subject to the requirement, though lighter duty vehicles could be addressed as part of a policy update in 2026. Today’s Board Resolution allows Sonoma County Transit to submit the Clean Transit Rollout plan to the California Air Resources Board by the deadline of July 1.

Sonoma County Transit – Zero-Emission Bus Rollout Plan