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Santa Maria Regional Transit launches its first electric buses

Posted at 2:02 PM, Nov 07, 2022

Santa Maria Regional Transit is launching its first two electric buses service this week.

The two Proterra Model ZX5+ vehicles with upgraded safety and passenger amenities, including public Wi-Fi, will debut on routes 1 and 11 which both serve Broadway (Highway 135) for the first week of service.

Santa Maria Regional Transit will then rotate them to each route, so all community members have a chance to ride them.

Both vehicles will be equipped with the latest in air quality management equipment.

With the adoption of the city’s 2022-24 budget, the transit division is authorized to spend about $22 million in federal and state funding over the next two fiscal years to support the purchase of as many as 15 electric buses, which will expand the total number of electric buses in the fleet to 17.

Transitioning to electric buses is anticipated to save the transit program’s operating budget about $300,000 annually for fuel and maintenance costs.

Some of the costs for electric vehicle charging stations will be reimbursed under PG&E’s E-Fleet Ready Program.

The city also received more than $200,000 from the State’s Low Carbon Transportation Operations Program for the transition.