Sonoma County purchases 10 battery-electric transit buses

Feb. 2, 2023
The new buses are scheduled to arrive between July and August 2024 and are in addition to six all-electric buses expected to arrive in June 2023.

Sonoma County has purchased 10 battery-electric transit buses to replace 10 compressed natural gas buses, consistent with the Climate Action and Resiliency pillar of Sonoma County’s Five-Year Strategic Plan. The 10 new buses, which are scheduled for delivery between July 1 and Aug. 31, 2024, are in addition to six all-electric buses expected to arrive in June 2023. There are currently three all-electric buses in the county’s 49-bus fleet.

The new buses will be deployed on Sonoma County Transit’s main intercity routes that operate 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 California Air Resources Board requires all new public transit buses purchased after 2029 be zero-emission vehicles, with a goal that all fossil-fueled buses in California be retired by 2040. With this purchase, Sonoma County Transit will have approximately 40 percent of its fleet electrically powered.

Sonoma County Transit ordered the new buses from Proterra. Proterra transit buses are eligible for purchase using local, state and federal funding sources, according to guidelines established by the State of California Department of General Services Procurement Division. Proterra buses have also been put in service by the cities of Santa Rosa and Napa.

The new buses will feature high-back reclining passenger seats, a video security system, on-board Wi-Fi, the NextBus passenger information system, electronic fareboxes and other safety systems common to Sonoma County Transit’s fleet. The cost of each bus is $1,028,704 and includes an extended five-year all-inclusive warranty, freight and sales tax. The state of California hybrid and zero-emission truck and bus voucher incentive provided a discount of $120,000 per bus to the manufacturer and reduced the county’s net cost of each vehicle.

The new buses will have the longest range and the most battery capacity of any battery-powered bus currently on the market, with an expected minimum range of 300 miles between charges depending on passenger loads, weather and other factors that impact electric vehicle range.