Santa Cruz Metro unveils new wildlife bus

Sept. 8, 2023
The new wildlife bus is part of Santa Cruz Metro’s One Ride at a Time campaign and joins the 15 photo-wrapped buses already carrying passengers throughout the region.

Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (Santa Cruz Metro) has unveiled a new wildlife bus as part of One Ride at a Time, its acclaimed campaign to showcase the environmental benefits of transit, encourage bus ridership and protect Santa Cruz County’s extraordinary natural resources. The new bus joins the 15 photo-wrapped buses already carrying passengers throughout the region.

With the new wave of buses, Santa Cruz Metro also welcomes a new partner to the One Ride at a Time campaign: Jodi Frediani, an award-winning photographer and humpback whale researcher. Frediani’s image of a female orca graces one of the buses.

“We are delighted to welcome Jodi Frediani to the One Ride at a Time team,” said Santa Cruz Metro CEO and General Manager Michael Tree. “Her stature in the conservation community, as both a photographer and a researcher, demonstrates the significance of this campaign in the effort to protect our Monterey Bay.”

For more than three decades, Frediani was active as an environmental consultant and conservation advocate working to protect California’s redwood forests and watersheds. Frediani is co-editor of the Wild Monterey Bay storytelling project, interviewing those who live and work in the Monterey Bay region on their most memorable wildlife encounters in and on the Bay.

Frediani joins renowned wildlife photographer Frans Lanting in supplying the campaign with breathtaking images of the animal and plant species that depend on the Monterey Bay ecosystem for their survival. By the end of 2024, about 30 wrapped buses will be traveling throughout Santa Cruz County and featuring inspiring images of whales, sea otters, mountain lions, redwoods and more.

“I am pleased to be a member of the Santa Cruz METRO One Ride at a Time partnership promoting environmentally sustainable bus transportation while supporting conservation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary,” Frediani said. “I am delighted that my orca image will grace one of METRO’s buses.”

The image features Louise (CA104B), a well-known female of the species Orcinus Orca, also known as Bigg’s Transient Orca, which was taken on Monterey Bay Whale Watch's vessel, the Pt. Sur Clipper. Louise and her three offspring travel together and are frequent visitors to the Monterey Bay.

Santa Cruz Metro is converting its entire bus fleet to zero-emissions buses (ZEBs). By the end of 2023, Santa Cruz Metro will have nine ZEBs deployed in the coun