AVTA becomes first all-electric transit agency in North America

Posted: 25 March 2022 | | No comments yet

With the addition of its 20th electric MCI coach to its fleet, the Antelope Valley Transit Authority has successfully placed a 100 per cent zero-emission transit fleet into service – making it North America’s first all-electric transit agency.

AVTA becomes first all-electric transit agency in North America

Credit: Antelope Valley Transit Authority

In mid-March 2022, the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) Board of Directors, along with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), hosted an event in celebration of AVTA becoming the first all-electric transit agency in North America, following the addition of its 20th electric MCI coach for its commuter routes. This enabled the agency to place into service a 100 per cent zero-emission transit fleet.

AVTA’s journey to electrification has been achieved through the many steps undertaken by its staff as they carried out the vision laid out by their Board of Directors.

“Long before we saw an electric bus rolling down the streets of the Antelope Valley, the AVTA Board envisioned a future with a greener and technologically superior transit system serving the citizens of Lancaster, Palmdale and the rural northern Los Angeles County communities,” said AVTA’s Chairman of the Board, Marvin Crist. “The Board cast a vision and the AVTA staff, working together with BYD and many other electric vehicle and system providers, brought that vision to life.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor, Kathryn Barger, said: “Today is a proud moment for the Antelope Valley community. The fact that the nation’s first fully electric transit agency is anchored here sends a clear message: the pioneering spirit continues to thrive in the AV. It’s an honour to have been part of this effort. I’ve worked alongside local Antelope Valley leaders to fund the initial pilot project that led to today’s milestone event. The reality of today’s over the top gas prices is a stark reminder that we must continue investing in eco-friendly mass transit. It’s no longer become a choice – it’s more of a necessity.”

AVTA’s 100 per cent electric, zero-emission transit fleet consists of 57 BYD zero-emission buses, 10 GreenPower EV Star Microtransit vans and 20 MCI battery-electric commuter coaches.

Portions of this fleet were purchased with the help of state funding, including $28.5 million from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP), administered by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California State Transportation Agency. The funds were provided by California Climate Initiatives, a state-wide programme that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.