On November 8, 2017, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to transition the City to a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2030, a move that aligns the City’s goals with those of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The motion, which passed with 10 votes, highlights the importance of local action in the search for modern, effective, and environmentally-friendly transit solutions.
Currently, the majority of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s (LADOT) 350-bus fleet runs on natural gas. The City Council’s vote came approximately three months after Metro made a comparable pledge to replace its over 2,000-bus fleet exclusively with zero-emission options by the same year.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has consistently championed zero-emission technologies, arguing they will prove vital to the city’s future livelihood: “Zero emission buses will improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, these buses have the potential to reduce lifecycle maintenance costs, reduce the cost of fueling, eliminate exposure to fluctuations in the fossil fuel market, reduce noise pollution, and improve public health.”
Mayor Garcetti, along with eleven other big-city mayors from across the globe, recently signed the C40 Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Declaration, a pledge to exclusively procure zero-emission buses beginning in 2025. Local officials, particularly in the United States since Donald Trump’s rise to power, have assumed a leading role in the search for modern transit solutions and the fight against climate change.
Los Angeles officials seem to fully understand the intimate link between transportation and environmental sustainability, noting that zero-emission technology will prove central to the City’s long-term goals and viability: “Shifting the 350 transit buses that are in the city’s fleet to zero-emission technology by 2030 means we start today with implementation plans: procuring buses, replacing fossil fuels with renewable and installing electric charging infrastructure. To respond to the dangers of smog and the climate crisis, the city of Los Angeles must use the cleanest technologies available and make the shift as quickly as possible,” said City Councilman Jose Huizar.