The Point: Transit agencies in Banning, Beaumont, Corona, Riverside, and Palo Verde Valley will benefit from grant.

To help meet California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals to reduce air pollution, RCTC applied for and received a $271,380 Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning grant in June. The grant will be used to prepare a Joint Zero-Emission Bus Rollout and Implementation Plan for five public transit operators that operate fixed route and dial-a-ride services in Banning, Beaumont, Corona, Riverside, and the Palo Verde Valley.

A statewide total of 169 grant applications were received by Caltrans.  Of these applications, RCTC and 58 other applications were selected for grant awards.

Transit agencies across California are working to meet state requirements to operate 100% zero-emission buses by 2040. According to state officials, the transportation sector generates 40% of total greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) statewide. The move to zero-emission buses is designed to help the transit industry reduce its carbon footprint and help the state meet its goal to cut GHG emissions by 40% of 1990s levels. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that one zero-emission bus can reduce carbon emissions by upwards of 135 tons per year compared to fossil fuel buses.

The grant will fund a plan that will help Riverside County transit operators decide which zero-emission technology is right for the communities they serve; include a bus replacement schedule; identify charging and maintenance facility upgrades; and develop a capital and operating funding plan. The transition to zero-emission buses will not only improve air quality throughout the county, especially in disadvantaged communities, but will also bring new training and employment opportunities related to bus manufacturing, maintenance, and infrastructure installation.

By combining efforts for the smaller transit operators, RCTC intends to promote a more consistent, regional effort and create savings through economies of scale. This joint effort will also make it easier to meet the rollout plan 2023 submission deadline.

Learn more about bus services that operate in Riverside County.