The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded more than $431.8 million in grants to build safer, more sustainable and more accessible airports across the United States.
“Developing and operating airports that interact responsibly with the environment is one of our key goals at the Sacramento County Department of Airports,” said Cindy Nichol, Director of Airports for Sacramento County. “The bus fleet conversion project is one more step toward our net-zero emissions goal here at SMF and provides great benefits for our customers and the community as a whole.”
SMF currently has five zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) electric passenger shuttle buses in operation. Another five ZEV buses will go into service this fall - just in time for peak holiday travel. Eight more ZEV buses have been ordered and are scheduled to arrive next summer. Over the next several years, the entire fleet (35 buses) of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles will be converted to ZEV.
A typical CNG bus emits 219,083 pounds of greenhouse gases annually. The switch to technology without tailpipe emissions provides an unprecedented opportunity to reduce the airport’s carbon footprint and provide an enhanced transit experience for passengers.
In addition to the clean air quality benefits provided by the ZEV buses, there are also a number of other advantages over carbon-powered vehicles. With a range of up to 330 miles per charge, short charging times, and less frequent maintenance, these buses can spend more hours in service and reduce wait times for SMF travelers. Electric vehicles are also much quieter, giving travelers a smooth ride without any reduction in speed, performance or comfort.