KTAR News: Phoenix committing to 100% zero-emission bus fleet by 2040

PHOENIX — The Phoenix City Council on Wednesday voted to transition the entire bus fleet to zero-emission models by 2040.

The transition will begin in phases, with the first part including a pause on purchasing compressed natural gas buses after 2024, Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari said in a press release.

From there, the city will only purchase low- and zero-emission buses, including fuel-cell-electric and battery-electric buses.

The vote was unanimous.

“A year ago, council was presented with a contract that did not even consider low- or zero-emission options,” Ansari said. “[Wednesday], we passed one of the strongest zero-emission transition plans in the country.”

The decision comes nearly a year after the council approved a $150 million request for proposals for the low- and zero-emission buses.

An additional contract was approved with the state of Washington to purchase low- and zero-emission buses, as well as a raise for city bus drivers, operators and mechanics.

“When looking forward to a zero-emission transportation system, it’s important that residents are excited to utilize it. Reliability, frequency and safety also need to be priorities,” Ansari said.

“We need more drivers in order to provide that guarantee.”

She added that a request has been made to raise wages, and that efforts have been made at Valley Metro to recruit and retain workforce.

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