March 20, 2021. The Santa Clarita City Council will consider purchasing two new compressed natural gas (CNG) powered commuter buses at its regular meeting Tuesday. The two CNG-powered commuter buses will replace two diesel-powered commuter buses that have reached the end of their 12-year life cycle.
The $1.76 million purchase brings the city one step closer to a fleet completely powered by renewable fuel. Adrian Aguilar, the City’s Transit Manager, anticipates the city’s fleet will entirely be powered by renewable fuel in two to three years. Two new commuter buses will leave six buses powered by diesel fuel. The city operates a fleet of 30 commuter buses.
Council members will also consider purchasing four local transit buses for no more than $2.48 million and two cutaway buses for the city’s Dial-A-Ride service for no more than $309,883. Both the local transit fleet of 56 buses and Dial-A-Ride cutaway fleet of 21 buses are CNG-powered.
Santa Clarita Transit has experienced a decrease in ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is something that was experienced countywide,” Aguilar said of the transit agency’s 40% ridership decrease. “Now that things are opening up, we’re starting to see that ridership increase.”