SamTrans Gearing Up to Operate Its First Zero-Emission Buses


Media Contact: Randol White, 650-647-3489  

SamTrans is furthering its commitment to environmental sustainability by adding 10 new electric buses to its fleet later this year. The buses use hydrogen fuel cells to create the electricity that powers the motors. They’re known as hydrogen fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) in the industry.

During its May meeting, the San Mateo County Transit District Board of Directors approved a couple of key contracts to make the operation of those buses at the district’s North Base facility in South San Francisco a reality.

RMS Construction is now contracted to modify the maintenance bays at North Base to accommodate the safety needs presented when working with hydrogen in an enclosed space. In order to do the work safely, more ventilation and modifications to electrical infrastructure are necessary, plus the bays need to be partitioned from the rest of the maintenance building. 

Plug Power has the contract to deliver and set up an interim fueling system for the buses and will also provide two-years worth of hydrogen at a fixed price. SamTrans also negotiated an option to extend that contract after two years if the district’s permanent fueling stations aren’t yet ready for operation.

SamTrans expects the first of these 10 new FCEBs could head into operation sometime in November. The district is scheduled to have a totally zero-emission bus fleet by 2034, six years ahead of California’s 2040 deadline for transit agencies. 


About SamTrans: SamTrans operates 70 routes throughout San Mateo County. Funded in part by a half-cent sales tax, the San Mateo County Transit District also provides administrative support for Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. SamTrans has provided bus service to San Mateo County customers since 1976.   

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