Saturday, July 15, 2017

Long Beach Transit's Free Passport Route Runs on Electric Buses!

An electric Passport bus at the Long Beach Aquarium.

The electric bus revolution continues!  Long Beach Transit has rolled out an electric bus fleet on its Passport route.  The Passport is a bus line which runs in a loop centered on Downtown Long Beach.  It's a good way to get from Downtown to the Queen Mary, the Aquarium and Shoreline Village.  Unlike a real passport, you don't have to pay to get on board: it's free to ride.  To top it all off, the frequency of service is pretty good.  It's only 10 minutes between buses during daytime peak periods, even on the weekends, according to the timetable.

Battery electric buses are the next quantum leap in eco-friendliness for public transit, which already has substantial green credentials for taking cars off the road and for its widespread use of alternative fuels and drivetrains like compressed natural gas (CNG) and hybrid buses.  Battery electric buses don't need overhead electric wires (that some find unsightly) as you will see on trolleybuses in cities like San Francisco.  They look just like normal buses, make less noise and give off zero pollution at the tailpipe (wait, there is no tailpipe).  As our electric grid shifts towards more renewables like wind and solar (which is a legal requirement in California and necessary to put a stop to global warming), the eco-cred of electric buses will only grow.

This is fantastic news.  Long Beach Transit should be commended for this trailblazing program.  The Press Telegram recently reported that Long Beach "wants to have an entirely clean fleet by 2020."  Let's do it!

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