Humboldt Transit Authority Awarded $38.7M Grant for Fuel Cell Electric Buses
July 20th, 2022
The Humboldt Transit Authority (HTA) has been awarded a $38.7M grant from the California State Transportation Agency’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program that will launch HTA’s transition to a zero-emission fleet. Coming soon to HTA are 11 New Flyer fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) and a hydrogen fueling station at HTA’s facility in Eureka. This fueling station will include a public dispenser for light and medium-duty vehicles (cars, delivery vans, etc.) to help kick start a hydrogen fueling network and supply chain on the North Coast.
“This project is incredibly exciting for HTA – I could not be more proud of our team’s work and this opportunity for innovation. It’s truly a cutting-edge project to reduce emissions throughout our region while providing reliable service and support to more than 600,000 riders every year,” – Natalie Arroyo, Humboldt Transit Authority Board Chair.
HTA partnered with the Schatz Energy Research Center at Cal Poly Humboldt to develop the winning proposal. Peter Lehman, Founding Director of the Schatz Center, shared the excitement. “We’re delighted to be teaming with the Humboldt Transit Authority on this pioneering project.” The Humboldt County Association of Governments, Center for Transportation and the Environment, Servitas LLC, SmithGroup, and Creative Inclusion LLC also made significant contributions to the grant proposal.
HTA worked closely with transit bus manufacturer New Flyer to develop specifications for a next-generation model of their Xcelsior Charge H2TM that will meet HTA’s demanding routes. HTA will be replacing the entire fleet of the Redwood Transit system with these new buses.
Fleet maintenance facilities at HTA will also be upgraded to support the new buses.
The hydrogen fueling station will be the northern-most fueling station planned in California. HTA will partner with Air Products Inc. who will design and construct the station. The station will support both bus and passenger car fueling. A fueling dispenser will be available to the public, providing a station that supports the Governor’s target of 200 hydrogen stations by 2026 serving light and medium-duty vehicles. HTA will also offer fueling to other local fleets interested in adopting fuel cell electric cars, delivery vans and other models.
In addition to laying the foundation for a zero-emission transit fleet, this grant also creates a new intercity transit service, the Redwood Coast Express (RCX), that will be served with the New Flyer buses. This service will connect local riders to Ukiah and points south, including the San Francisco Bay Area.
This grant will also construct new intermodal transit center in downtown Eureka. The center will be integrated with workforce and student housing and commercial space and enliven urban life in Eureka. The Eureka Regional Transit and Housing Center (EaRTH Center) will combine local and intercity fixed route services with on-demand, taxi, bike and scooter share, and paratransit services all centralized in Eureka’s Old Town district. This project is expected to contribute significantly to increasing transit ridership and decreasing vehicle miles traveled, two key targets in the County’s Regional Transportation Plan.
Stay up-to-date on project progress by visiting https://hta.org/projects.