SamTrans Launches First Bus in New Generation of Zero-Emission Vehicles

Media Contact: Randol White, 650-647-3489 

Editors’ Note: Photo available upon request. 

A new battery-powered electric bus (BEB) is now part of the SamTrans fleet serving passengers in San Mateo County. It’s the first of several that will be placed into service this year and next. 

“We launched our new generation of zero-emission buses on August 7 as vehicle #1000 went into daily service,” said SamTrans Deputy Chief, Fleet and Facilities Infrastructure Liria Larano. “For now, this bus is being assigned to rotating routes as we gather performance data. More buses will go into service in the months to come, first BEBs and then hydrogen fuel-cell electric buses (FCEBs). It’s all very exciting!” 

There are 17 BEBs total that are expected to become part of the SamTrans fleet by the end of the year. Additionally, the agency is bringing on 10 FCEBs that will go into service once a temporary hydrogen-fueling system is put into place early next year. 

“The project is exciting because I work with many who care about improving air quality not only for our transit riders and our work force, but also for the communities we serve,” said Larano. 

The California Air Resources Board set a statewide goal for public transit agencies to hit 100% zero-emission bus fleets by 2040. SamTrans goal is to be fully zero emission by 2034 as the agency’s diesel buses reach the end of their useful life. 

SamTrans will pay for the project with federal and state funds, as well as local sales tax money which includes Measure W in San Mateo County — a half-cent sales tax measure passed by voters to help fund transportation needs. In addition, the transit district will continue to apply for competitive federal and state grants to help pay for the project. The state of California announced this summer that it’s going to help SamTrans pay for the construction of charging infrastructure at the agency’s South Base bus yard, located in San Carlos, for 37 BEBs. 


 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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