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GCTD to test hydrogen fuel cell bus

GCTD to test hydrogen fuel cell bus

Gold Coast Transit District (GCTD), the largest public transit provider in Ventura County, is committed to clean transportation and is developing a transition plan to reach zero emissions by 2040.

As part of that plan, GCTD selected hydrogen fuel cell technology for its preferred zero-emission fuel choice.

While GCTD’s Zero-Emission Transition Plan is still under development, GCTD must strategically decide which type of technology would work best under local operating conditions. There are currently two types of zero-emission buses commercially available: battery electric vehicle (BEV) buses, and hydrogen fuel cell electric buses.

After a thorough analysis of routes and terrain facilitated by project consultant Stantec, Inc., GCTD chose to pursue the hydrogen fuel cell electric bus due to its range capability and fueling process. A hydrogen fuel cell bus can travel up to 350 miles on a single refueling and requires no o­ff-board electric recharging.

“We are excited about the potential for hydrogen fuel cell technology and look forward to testing the bus for a few days to give our employees and passengers a glimpse into our zero-emission future.” said GCTD General Manager, Vanessa Rauschenberger.

GCTD is currently developing a grant application for funding to purchase five hydrogen fuel cell buses and upgrade its current facility to incorporate hydrogen fueling through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Low or No Emission and Bus Program for Buses and Bus Facilities Program.

If awarded, the grant will also provide funding for extensive safety and technical training for GCTD employees in zero emission heavy-duty technology, hydrogen safety, fueling, and operations and maintenance. To date, staff has collected 29 letters of support from local elected leaders, stakeholders, businesses, and community organizations from around the county, expressing their support for GCTD’s zero-emissions plan and adoption of hydrogen fuel cell technology.

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