The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (ATVA) board of directors and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently celebrated a journey to electrification that began a decade ago. Now, the ATVA has become the first all-electric, zero emissions transit agency in North America.
The Antelope Valley Transit Authority began service in 1992 and currently serves a population of over 450,000 residents within a service area of 1,200 square miles in Southern California. This includes the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, as well as unincorporated portions of northern Los Angeles County.
While the ATVA made a vow to become a 100% electric transit authority in 2016, its progress began four years earlier with the purchase of 15 diesel hybrid electric buses, followed by two all-electric buses in 2014.
In addition to a detailed history of its electric bus fleet conversion on its website, the ATVA also touts a step-by-step timeline of its efforts – a process that truly got moving six years ago, when the AVTA board of directors voted to approve the purchase of up to 85 new all-electric buses from BYD.
Currently, the ATVA’s all-electric transit fleet consists of 57 BYD zero-emission buses,10 GreenPower EV Star Microtransit vans, and 20 battery-electric commuter coaches from Motor Coach Industries (MCI).
With its latest celebration, the now all-electric transit agency has achieved its goal… 18 years ahead of California’s regulated deadline.
AVTA becomes 100% electric transit agency in just six years
The AVTA shared news of its accomplishment alongside a celebration with CARB in a recent press release alongside pictures of the ceremony. During the event, VTA chairman of the board Marvin Crist spoke:
Long before we saw an electric bus rolling down the streets of the Antelope Valley, the AVTA Board envisioned a future with a greener and technologically superior transit system serving the citizens of Lancaster, Palmdale, and the rural northern Los Angeles County communities. The Board cast a vision and the AVTA staff, working together with BYD and many other electric vehicle and system providers, brought that vision to life.
The AVTA recently received delivery of its 20th all-electric bus from MCI, allowing the transit agency to deliver valley-wide service completely operated by zero-emission vehicles. Other California State agencies joined CARB in congratulating the AVTA of its achievement, including CalSTA, CEC, CPUC, as well as representatives for Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Congressman Mike Garcia, CA State Senator Scott Wilk, and Assemblyman Tom Lackey’s offices.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger attended in person and spoke:
Today is a proud moment for the Antelope Valley community. The fact that the nation’s first fully electric transit agency is anchored here sends a clear message: the pioneering spirit continues to thrive in the AV. It’s an honor to have been part of this effort. I‘ve worked alongside local Antelope Valley leaders to fund the initial pilot project that led to today’s milestone event. The reality of today’s over the top gas prices is a stark reminder that we must continue investing in eco-friendly mass transit. It’s no longer become a choice – it’s more of a necessity.
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