The electric buses have started service! Look out for the green buses as we progress through the pilot.

At the start of the pilot program, buses will rotate to different routes across the system on a weekly basis. The frequent rotation will give more riders the opportunity to ride the new vehicles, and will allow MTS to test the vehicle/battery performance on a variety of route topographies, distances, times of day and more (Please note, that the posted routes/schedules are subject to change at any time).

Route Departing Station/Direction: February 24 - February 28 (Weekday Service Only, Excluding Holidays) Time
8 Old Town Transit Center (westbound) 6:48 p.m.
8 Bayard & Garnet (eastbound) 7:18 p.m.
10 College & University (westbound) 3:33 p.m
10 Old Town Transit Center (eastbound) 4:36 p.m.
10 College & University (westbound) 5:50 p.m.
10 Old Town Transit Center (eastbound) 7:52 p.m.
10 College & University (westbound) 8:46 p.m.
10 Old Town Transit Center (eastbound) 9:39 p.m.
10 College & University (westbound) 10:29 p.m.
10 Old Town Transit Center (westbound) 11:15 p.m.
11 1st & Broadway (westbound) 12:42 p.m.
11 San Diego State University (eastbound) 1:42 p.m.
30 9th & C Street (northbound) 5:40 a.m.
30 UTC Transit Center (southbound) 7:24 a.m.
30 9th & C Street (northbound) 9:08 a.m.
30 UTC Transit Center (southbound) 10:58 a.m.
120 4th & B Street (northbound) 10:57 a.m.
120 Kearny Mesa Transit Center (southbound) 12:19 p.m.
120 4th & B Street (northbound) 1:26 p.m.
120 Kearny Mesa Transit Center (southbound) 2:44 p.m.
120 4th & B Street (northbound) 3:56 p.m.
120 Kearny Mesa Transit Center (southbound) 5:16 p.m.
120 4th & B Street (northbound) 6:30 p.m.

 

Background 

On October 19, 2017, the MTS Board of Directors unanimously approved a multi-year Zero Emissions Bus (ZEB) Pilot Program. The decision builds upon MTS’ strong track-record of operating one of the cleanest public transit fleets in the United States.

Currently, the entire MTS fleet of 40 ft and 60 ft buses use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), which is one of the cleanest and most affordable fuels available. The agency  purchases renewable biogas for its entire fleet, further reducing the carbon footprint of MTS buses. In addition, MTS also operates 130 zero-emission light rail cars.

The ZEB Pilot Program will further help the agency reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG). The nearly $10 million  project is designed to support MTS in complying with the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) proposed Initiative Clean Transit (ICT) regulation. The ICT may require that all California transit systems transition to ZEB technologies by 2040. 

About the Pilot Program

MTS’ ZEB Pilot project will help provide an analysis of how ZEB technologies will work for MTS’ transit system, and assist in determining the longer term impact on MTS with a new ICT. The ZEB Pilot Program will include:

  • Partnering with a consultant that has experience and technical expertise in analyzing and deploying Zero Emissions Buses
  • Bus procurement
  • Operation of the ZEBs in MTS service for a period of up to two years
  • Detailed analysis and reporting of cost and performance, identification of infrastructure needs and development of a roadmap from pilot to possible full deployment of ZEBs.

In partnership with the Center for Transportation & the Environment (CTE), MTS’ ZEB project consultant, MTS will develop the scope, design and requirements for the ZEB program.  In addition, CTE will assist MTS with oversight of the pilot implementation, operation, analysis and reporting ZEB performance challenges and successes. The initial pilot will include at least six (6) Battery Electric Buses from New Flyer Industries and includes the following deliverables:

  • Modeling, and simulation of routes operating from each of MTS’ depots
  • Infrastructure upgrades to support charging infrastructure and/or fuel cell technologies
  • Grid and electricity capacity and consumption analysis
  • Training requirements
  • Operation data collection, monitoring, and analysis
  • Analysis of operational and capital cost components

Project Scope

The MTS ZEB Pilot Program will be phased with bus delivery estimated to start in July 2019.

The ZEB Pilot program links below will continually be updated throughout the entire project. 

  • Bus Procurement
  • Charging Infrastructure
  • Project Budget
  • Project Schedule
  • Data and Analysis
  • Informational Resources

 


Fact Sheet


 

Old Town Transit Center (eastbound)

BUS PROCUREMENT - BATTERY ELECTRIC BUSES

In March 2018, MTS entered into a cooperative agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of General Services Division of Purchases and Supply for the utilization of its already executed contract with New Flyer.  This agreement enables MTS to purchase six (6) 40-foot low floor, battery electric buses. The Commonwealth of Virginia’s contract was awarded through a formal competitive Request For Proposal (RFP) process, and was developed for the use of public/governmental agencies to obtain the best pricing benefits based on the types and number of vehicles.

On May 10, 2018, the MTS Board of Directors unanimously approved the purchase of six (6), New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE, 40-foot, Low-Floor Battery Electric buses. All battery electric buses purchased will have MTS’ current standard equipment and features, which includes a pre-installed on-board video surveillance system, wheelchair ramp, and an enhanced wheelchair restraint system with forward-facing safety barriers for improved safety.  All six (6) buses will replace current vehicles reaching the end of their useful lives. Approximately fifty percent (50%) of MTS’ current fixed-route fleet is also manufactured by New Flyer.

The six (6) New Flyer battery electric buses will be built at New Flyer’s St. Cloud, Minnesota plant.  These battery electric buses are the foundation of MTS’ ZEB Pilot Program, and are expected to be delivered in September/October of 2019. 

In August 2019, MTS entered into a cooperative agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of General Services Division of Purchases and Supply for the utilization of its already executed contract with New Flyer.  This agreement enables MTS to purchase two (2) Gillig 40-foot low floor, battery electric buses. The Commonwealth of Virginia’s contract was awarded through a formal competitive Request For Proposal (RFP) process, and was developed for the use of public/governmental agencies to obtain the best pricing benefits based on the types and number of vehicles.

On September 12, 2019, the MTS Board of Directors unanimously approved the purchase of two (2), Gillig 40-foot, Low-Floor Battery Electric buses. All battery electric buses purchased will have MTS’ current standard equipment and features, which includes a pre-installed on-board video surveillance system, wheelchair ramp, and an enhanced wheelchair restraint system with forward-facing safety barriers for improved safety.  All two (2) buses will replace current vehicles reaching the end of their useful lives. Approximately fifty percent (50%) of MTS’ current fixed-route fleet is also manufactured by New Flyer. In addition, the Gillig battery electric buses will help test Chargepoint's charger interoperability with the New Flyer battery electric buses. 

The two (2) Gillig battery electric buses will be built at Gillig's Livermore, California plant.  These battery electric buses are expected to be delivered in fall 2020.

 

New Flyer Battery Electric Buses - Schedule 

Project Budget

MTS’ ZEB Pilot budget is a combination of bus and infrastructure costs, and design/consulting/project management expenses.  Prior to the pilot’s approval, staff did extensive research to establish the original project cost estimate for the anticipated expenses that will be associated with the pilot. These estimates are not inclusive of any potential funding opportunities or sources (such as HVIP incentives) that MTS may be able to receive. The overall, Board approved budget for the pilot is $12.5 million.  While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this estimated budget, zero emissions bus technology is a new technology that may come with unanticipated expenses not included in this original pilot budget.  Throughout the course of this pilot project, this website will be updated with the actual expenses for the project.

   
Buses: Battery Electric Buses, Fuel Cell Buses  $9,931,122
Infrastructure: Chargers, Design, Construction, Contingency  $1,747,050
Project Management and Support: External Consultant and Internal Staff Support  $797,957
 Total Pilot Budget  $12,476,129

Buses: Battery Electric Buses, Fuel Cell Buses

The most significant portion of the budget is for the purchase of the vehicles needed to conduct the pilot.  Namely, MTS has procured eight (8) battery electric buses. In addition, MTS is currently researching the feasibility to pilot two (2) hydrogen fuel cell buses.  The battery electric buses will be equipped with the same technology as other MTS fixed-route vehicles, such as on-board video/audio surveillance, GPS tracking, and fare collection equipment.  The estimated costs for these bus purchases (inclusive of taxes) are as follows:

  COST PER BUS  NUMBER PURCHASING  TOTAL BUDGETED COST
Battery Electric Bus  $924,875 8   $7,398,996
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses  $1,266,063  2   $2,532,126

Infrastructure: Design, Construction, Contingency

MTS plans to purchase twelve (12) depot chargers for this pilot. The number of chargers being purchased is to account for the four different operating facilities throughout the service area, where MTS wants to ensure the pilot is conducted (plan to put one at each of three facilities in South Bay, East County and Kearny Mesa, and the remaining at the Imperial Avenue facility). At each facility, the chargers will require installation design and construction expenses. There is also a 10-percent project contingency built into the original budget to help account for areas of the projects that may not align with the original cost estimate as the project moves from being a plan, to being implemented.

  COST PER CHARGER  NUMBER PURCHASING  TOTAL BUDGETED COST
Depot Charger for Electric Bus  $59,798  12  $717,572
Design, Construction, and Project Contingency (10% total project budget)     $1,029,478

Project Management and Support: External Consultant and Internal Staff Support

In order to ensure the success of the pilot, MTS will rely on industry experts to assist in the planning, design and analysis of the project.  Specifically, MTS will hire a consultant to assist with the pilot and work with internal staff support on the pilot.  This will include identifying opportunities for funding assistance, identifying the appropriate placement/installation for charging infrastructure, route selections, and much more.  The original project budget anticipates these costs to be approximately $797,957

 

 

 

CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE

On May 10, 2018, the MTS Board of Directors unanimously approved an option to purchase nine (9) Chargepoint Depot Chargers (MTS Agenda #30), and on June 13, 2019, the Board approved an additional three (3) chargers for a total of twelve (12) chargers for the Pilot. The chargers are DC fast charging stations with an output rate of 62.5 kilowatts per hour (kWh). The charger design will include two chargers conjoined to have the option of charging at 125 kWh. Six (6) of the Depot Chargers will be installed at MTS’ Imperial Avenue Division as the primary operating facility for our ZEB pilot (Phase 1). The six (6) additional chargers will be installed as the pilot expands to the other operating facilities of Kearny Mesa, South Bay, and East County Divisions to allow testing and provide continuity of service as the pilot progresses (Phase 2, scheduled for 2020).

While there are options for the charging of battery electric buses, this pilot is currently intended to evaluate only depot charging.  At this time, staff has determined that at least twelve (12) Depot Chargers would be necessary to implement MTS’ ZEB pilot program.

Below is a cost breakdown and estimated timeline for the installation and deployment of the Chargepoint Depot Chargers.

 

  Cost PER CHARGER NUMBER PURCHASING TOTAL BUDGETED COST
Depot Charger for Electric Bus $59,798 12 $717,572
Design, Construction, and Project Contingency (10% of total project budget)     $1,029,478

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legislative and Regulatory Information

California Air Resource Board (CARB): Innovative Clean Transit Regulation (ICT)

CARB - ICT

 

California Transit Association (CTA): A public transit advocacy and educational association

CTA

 

Zero Emissions Bus Information 

The National Academic Press: Battery Electric Buses - State of Practice (2018) 

Battery Electric Buses - State of Practice Synthesis

 

Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE): 

CTE

 

California Fuel Cell Partnership (CFCP): Buses & Trucks

CFCP

 

New Flyer of America (Battery Electric Bus):

New Flyer XE40

 

Gillig (Battery Electric Bus):

Gillig Battery Electric 

 

Chargepoint (Electric Charger):

CPE250