Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Broward County Leading the State in Electric Transportation

15 Zero-Emission Buses to Run in 2019

Sierra Club volunteers meet in Broward County to support zero-emission buses. 
On Tuesday, June 12, Broward County Commissioners unanimously voted to purchase five zero-emission buses and to issue a Request for Proposal to purchase an additional ten buses in the future. Wearing “Z.E.B.” stickers in support of “zero-emission buses,” ten Sierra Club volunteers attended the County Commission meeting to support Broward County’s consideration of the new, zero-emission, electric buses. Three Sierra Club supporters in attendance spoke on behalf of the group to thank County Commissioners for considering the purchase. 

Sierra Club supporter Michelle Clawson
thanks Broward County Commissioners
When all 15 buses are deployed, Broward County is projected to have more zero-emission electric buses in operation than any other transportation agency in Florida. Given that the buses have no tailpipe and are very quiet on the road, Sierra Club supporters told Broward County Commissioners that residents will “see and appreciate” these buses but not “smell or hear” them. 

Zero-emission buses are clean, quiet and save taxpayer dollars. Each bus will also eliminate 1,690 tons of carbon dioxide, 10 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 350 pounds of diesel particulate matter over a 12 year period, ultimately reducing the air pollutants that cause or worsen diseases like asthma and cancer. Furthermore, as Sierra Club volunteer Michelle Clawson told the Broward County Commission, a single electric bus can “save between $150,000 to $200,000 dollars in fuel costs alone.” 

Broward County Transportation Department is now looking to further their leadership by charging these buses with the help of a solar energy system. Department leadership hopes to install advanced solar photovoltaic panels on the rooftop of the Copans Road maintenance facility in the City of Pompano Beach that will support the charging for their electric buses and significantly lower the amount of energy consumed at the facility. Sierra Club has offered a letter of support as Broward County seeks grant funding for additional zero-emission buses as well as the installation of solar photovoltaic panels.

Investing in zero-emissions vehicles represents an opportunity to reduce emissions, improve air quality and save taxpayer dollars. Sierra Club applauds the Broward County Transportation Department for their leadership and looks forward to seeing these buses on the road!

Now, the region will look to Miami-Dade, a county that issued an ambitious Request for Proposals more than two years ago for up to 75 zero-emission buses. If all 75 buses were purchased, it would represent the largest investment in electric buses on the East Coast. As the Miami-Dade County request has gone unfulfilled for years, residents are left to wonder; will they ever see the zero-emission buses they were promised? Or will Broward County remain the only true clean transit leader in South Florida?