June 30, 2020. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) board has approved a draft plan outlining how the agency will convert the OC Bus fleet to 100 percent zero-emission technology by 2040.

It is a milestone step toward zero-emission transportation technology for a balanced and sustainable future – one that will help bring even cleaner air quality to Orange County.

“This is a great opportunity for us to plan for a healthier future that will include both reliable transportation and no potentially harmful emissions into our environment,” said OCTA Chairman Steve Jones, also the Mayor of Garden Grove. “We are accomplishing two important goals at the same time.”

OCTA has already gradually transitioned its fleet over the years, from diesel-burning buses to clean-burning renewable compressed natural gas (CNG) buses with near-zero-emission engines. The state has set a requirement to transition to complete zero-emission transit within the next 20 years.

OCTA’s zero-emission bus rollout plan, approved by the board of directors on Monday, will now be submitted to the California Air Resources Board.

The plan is not a commitment to a specific type of technology at this point. OCTA is in the process of testing both hydrogen fuel-cell electric buses and plug-in battery-electric buses to determine which technology best meets OCTA’s needs related to operations, maintenance and cost, among other things.

OCTA will begin phasing in the purchase of zero-emission buses as part of future bus procurements beginning in 2023. At the same time, staff will continue to analyze emerging technologies and work with partners to secure funding for purchase, operations and maintenance of the buses.