Lancaster –Antelope Valley Transit Authority’s electric buses rolled through another significant milestone in May, reaching the five million mile mark on Friday, May 7, 2021. As the Antelope Valley residents emerge from pandemic lockdowns and begin to increase their use of AVTA’s local fixed route services, the agency’s all-electric, zero-emission buses are here to serve them.
AVTA’s zero-emission fleet, the first all-electric local bus fleet in the nation, accumulated five million service miles moving residents of the Antelope Valley around Lancaster, Palmdale, and the unincorporated portions of northern Los Angeles County such as Pearblossom, Littlerock, and Lake Los Angeles.
AVTA Chairman of the Board Marvin Crist highlighted some of the benefits to the community and beyond that are a result of the electrification of AVTA’s fleet.
“In those five million electric miles, approximately 1,282,051 gallons of diesel fuel have been saved,” said Chairman Crist. “This equates to a net savings of $1,640,352 in fuel costs after paying for electricity. Even more impressive, those five million all-electric miles represent a carbon footprint reduction of more than 30 million pounds of CO2 and 72,500 pounds of particulate matter."
Since February 2016, when the AVTA Board of Directors voted to award a contract to BYD to manufacture electric buses over a five year period at BYD’s facility in Lancaster, AVTA has been on the path to pioneering battery electric bus transportation. The project has created a smarter, greener, and more interconnected transit system serving the Antelope Valley and areas extending south into the Los Angeles basin and north to Edwards Air Force Base and the Mojave Air and Space Port. By combining groundbreaking electric bus technology with wireless inductive charging technology, AVTA’s innovative bus project is the first of its kind in the nation.
“AVTA operates 65 vehicles in our local fixed route fleet, all of which are zero-emission,” continued Chairman Crist. “The non-electric buses are for commuter service only and their all-electric counterparts will start arriving in June 2021 assuring a transition of our commuter fleet to all electric by next December. The majority of AVTA’s electric fleet consists of BYD electric buses, manufactured right here in the Antelope Valley. Our goal from the start was to be the first transit agency to implement electric bus technology on a broad scale, and we have met that goal.”
AVTA provides local, commuter and dial-a-ride service to a population of more than 450,000 residents in the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale as well as the unincorporated portions of northern Los Angeles County. Its total service area covers 1,200 square miles and it is bounded by the Kern County line to the north, the San Bernardino County line to the east, the Angeles National Forest to the south, and Interstate 5 to the West.