Long Beach Transit (LBT) is considering two common, albeit game-changing RFPs (depending on their decisions): to purchase new buses that fit within the so-called alternative fuel sectors–that is, hybrid, CNG, or electric.
As dollar signs float through the various minds of various transit board members across the globe, let’s first break down LBT’s two current RFPs.
The first one was issued last October following the receiving of the Department of Transportation’s Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) grant. It also acted as one of LBT’s most progressive: instead of simply following the grant’s requirement of reducing GHG emissions and energy costs, which means any alternative fuel buses could be purchased with the grant monies, LBT decided to offer an addition of Prop Bond 1B funds to obtain a 10 bus fleet of zero emission electric buses. If succeeded and followed through, it would be the largest electric bus fleet in the nation.
This RFP, whose applicants were narrowed down this past February, has been slightly delayed following LBT staff’s recommendation of one company over another and has prompted the Board to reevaluate their recommendation process. Deferring their vote and holding study sessions, the LBT Board was presented with a breakdown of how the staff went about not just the RFP, but their decision.
In an interesting contradiction to bringing in electric buses, Board Member Lori Ann Farrell asked if LBT was required to spend the grant on electric buses–to which LBT Maintenance and Facilities Executive Director Rolando Cruz explained that, while not required, the 1B funds LBT would put up themselves allow them to purchase ten of the more expensive, zero-emission electric buses that the grant alone would not permit them to do. Read more…