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Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus Could Go All Electric by 2030
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
2802 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310)828-7525 -

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

July 7, 2016 -- Riding on Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus could soon be an electric experience. The City Council voted last week to set in motion a plan for zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The buses currently run on renewable natural gas, a fuel that experts say is significantly cleaner than the traditional diesel.

Councilmember Terry O’Day said recent information shows electric energy is five times cleaner than natural gas for transit use.

“While we have quite a clean natural gas fleet, the technology has improved and we find ourselves in even more dire need to aggressively confront climate change,” O’Day said.

He added, “The evidence of challenges associated with the use of any fossil fuels, in this case natural gas, were pretty well highlighted in the Porter Ranch leak earlier this year.”

Others are considering similar plans.

The Antelope Valley Transit Authority has a goal for a “100 percent battery electric bus fleet” by 2018. The California Air Resources Board is considering a plan for transitioning the state’s fleet to all electric by 2040.

What would make Santa Monica a leader in this, O’Day said, would be the “zero carbon standard,” which he said, “would require production of electricity from renewable sources or offsets that tie those renewable sources to our use for our bus fleet.”

The City will soon hire a consultant to analyze how this goal could be achieved, and staff will report to the council about the analysis within the next six to nine months.

Funding for this project could come from the $20 million the City received from the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority to purchase the land for the downtown light rail station (“Santa Monica and Expo Reach Settlement on Downtown Station,” June 3, 2016).

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