SANTA MONICA—The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) revealed that the Big Blue Bus (BBB) is expected to receive a grant for $3,050,000 towards the purchase of 10 new zero-emissions battery electric buses (BEBs). The funds are being provided via the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP).

According to a press release from the city of Santa Monica, the decision is the result of a study session before the Santa Monica City Council about the electrification of BBB on April 24. The projects chosen for this round of TIRCP grants will help transform the California state transportation system. The grant helps BBB launch its “Electric Blue” project aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increasing ridership.

The Big Blue Bus is aiming to get closer to 100 percent zero-emissions goal by 2030. The new BEBs will assist the BBB to complement existing service and provide critical first-last mile connectivity to Metro Rail stations throughout the Westside of Los Angeles.

“Receiving this grant is an important step in launching the Electric Blue pilot and getting us on the road to a 100% zero-emissions fleet as envisioned by the Santa Monica City Council. Our continued commitment to sustainability will play a significant role in reducing not only the City’s carbon footprint but our entire service area in our continuing effort to expand mobility options for our community,” said Ed King, Director of Transit Services.

TIRCP funding is provided through Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) and from the proceeds of the Cap and Trade program. The program aims to deliver benefits towards meeting California’s climate and air quality goals, with a total reduction of more than 32 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

For complete details on SB 1, visit Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, was signed into law on April 28, 2017. The legislative package invests $54 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California and puts more dollars toward transit and safety. These funds will be split equally between state and local investments.

The Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of 200 vehicles transporting more than 54,000 customers daily across a 58 square mile service. It has been serving the Los Angeles and Santa Monica regions since 1928.

Written By Kelsey Thomas