Zero Emission Fleet Conversion Plan

Tahoe Transportation District (TTD) Zero Emission Fleet Conversion Plan

What is Tahoe Transportation District:

The Tahoe Transportation District (TTD) is a transportation district across California and Nevada in the Lake Tahoe basin region. It manages transportation projects in the area and is run by a fourteen-member Board of Directors comprising various local jurisdictions, private transportation management associations, appointees of California and Nevada governors and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), an at-large member, and two state DOT agencies.

TTD is responsible for providing transportation services for intra- and interregional connectivity vital to the region’s progress. It operates a transit system that covers the South Shore of Lake Tahoe and other neighboring areas. The South Shore region provides local fixed route services for South Lake Tahoe, California, and Stateline, Nevada. The commuter service connects South Lake Tahoe, California, to Carson City, Nevada, via the rural Nevada communities of Minden and Gardnerville. TTD also provides supplemental summer service (East Shore Express), a transit link between Incline Village and Sand Harbor State Park.

Project Purpose and Background:

The project aims to facilitate the Tahoe Transportation District’s (TTD) transition to a zero-emission fleet by 2040. To achieve this, the project will conduct stakeholder and public engagement and operational and financial analysis. The project will involve extensive collaboration with NV Energy, Liberty Utilities, and agency partners across jurisdictional boundaries to create a ZEFCP supported by the diverse communities TTD serves, as well as TTD’s regional agency partners and local utilities. The engagement process will include multiple opportunities for public input and stakeholder feedback.

Overall Project Objectives:

  • TTD plans to switch its entire transit fleet to Zero Emission Buses (ZEB) by 2040 pursuant to the Board’s direction to mimic the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) Regulation to the extent practicable. The aim is to provide a more reliable, efficient transit service while reducing emissions of harmful PM2.5 and GHG. TTD is drafting its ZEB Plan, building upon previous planning efforts.
  • TTD will confirm its vehicle replacement and ZEB conversion schedule. They will analyze ZEB options and assess the capacity of TTD facilities to support charging infrastructure. Coordination with Liberty Utilities and NV Energy will ensure the required infrastructure at charging locations.
  • TTD will collect data to determine charging/fueling stations for a 100% ZEB fleet in challenging terrain. The team will consider weather systems and wildfire risks to improve the resiliency and accessibility of transit service.

  • The plan strives to improve transportation services for all user groups, including disadvantaged communities, special needs individuals, the elderly, and visitors. It will analyze TTD’s goal to transition to 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2040, the associated GHG reduction benefits, and provide cost estimates for infrastructure upgrades and charging stations. Additionally, it will explore ZEB range and performance in TTD’s service area.
  • The team will summarize ZEB maintenance requirements and their impact on facilities and staff. TTD will work with TRPA on integrating land use with ZEB fleet conversion. The plan will support transit fleet conversion to ZEBs and collaborate with Basin communities and regional partners.
  • The planning team will coordinate with other transit agencies in the region, including Liberty Utilities and NV Energy, to leverage their experience with ZEB fleet conversion. TTD will develop budgets, funding strategies, and next steps for a smooth transition to 100% ZEB conversion by 2040.

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Goals

What is CARB?

CARB  was established to protect California residents from air pollution. The state of California has introduced programs and strategies to reduce emissions and address air pollution. One such program is the ICT initiative, which requires all public transit agencies in California to switch to zero-emission buses that run on either battery-electric or fuel-cell electric power by 2040. However, as a bi-state district, TTD’s fleet is recognized by CARB as being a Nevada fleet and is not subject to regulation by CARB.  Nonetheless, this is a significant step towards a cleaner and more sustainable transportation system.

 

CARB is responsible for establishing air quality standards, monitoring progress, and enhancing air quality for California. They oversee automobile companies and research new technologies to reduce air pollution. CARB also promotes energy-efficient measures and educates the public about the importance of air quality. Their primary objective is to protect the health, safety, and well-being of Californians while preserving the state’s natural resources.

TTD provides services to California communities but is classified as a Nevada fleet, and therefore, the ICT regulation does not apply to TTD. Despite this, TTD Board adopted the ICT as a “target goal for achieving a zero-emission bus fleet to the extent practicable” towards the end of 2022. TTD has adopted the 2040 ZEB transition goal outlined by the ICT but is not required to submit a rollout plan to CARB. By making this distinction, TTD can deploy ZEBs more flexibly while still meeting the 2040 target for a complete transition.

 

Public Outreach:

To ensure that TTD’s fleet is converted to a 100% zero-emission bus (ZEB) fleet by 2040 and to ensure that reliable and efficient transit service is provided, TTD will involve a wide range of stakeholders from diverse cultural, social, and economic backgrounds in its transparent planning process. The project’s quality will be enhanced by the full and equitable participation of marginalized groups such as youth, elderly, disabled, and disadvantaged community members who have been underrepresented in transportation planning efforts in the past. To include these groups as stakeholders in the planning process, TTD will reach out to regional community groups and Health and Human Services, inviting them to participate in the project on an equal footing. In addition to underrepresented groups, the project’s stakeholders will also represent diverse communities, including various socio-economic groups, community-based organizations, emergency responders, and local agencies currently active in the project area.

Status: Upcoming

Timeline

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