Battery-Powered Electric Bus Route in Stockton, Calif., a National First

City buses in Stockton, Calif. are getting quieter and exhaust-free by going electric.

The San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) has converted its existing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Express Route from 44- to 100-percent electric, zero-emissions buses. That BRT route will be the first in the nation to feature all-electric battery-powered bus service.

“We at RTD are proud of our history of commitment to clean energy initiatives,” said Donna DeMartino, RTD’s CEO, in a statement. “With the nation’s first all-electric BRT route, RTD and Stockton are now leading the charge in providing safe, efficient, reliable and exceptionally clean transportation to people who live and work in south Stockton.”

An electric bus means cleaner air, quieter operation, and reduced maintenance costs, say officials.
The electric buses used by RTD can travel up to 40 miles, or two hours, per charge. The RTD charging stations take about 10 minutes to completely recharge a bus.

The price of each bus is approximately $850,000. RTD received grant funding to cover the cost of the new electric buses. Stockton will have 12 electric buses operating by the end of the year, with plans to purchase five more next year, said Terry Williams, a spokesperson for the San Joaquin Regional Transit District.