San Diego has six zero-emissions buses. Photo by Chris Stone

More than $8 million in funding will be disbursed to the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District to support the agencies’ purchases of zero emission buses, Caltrans announced Tuesday.

Caltrans approved $8.42 million in Low Carbon Transit Operations Program funding for the agencies, part of $146 million approved overall for 166 transportation projects across the state that aim to improve transportation sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“This investment will help reduce our impact on the environment and improve transit service, particularly for those facing economic barriers to mobility,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “Greater access to transit options will lead to decreased dependence on driving and cleaner air for all Californians.”

The project list indicates the funds will support MTS’ Zero Emission Bus Pilot Project, which includes purchasing 11 zero emission buses and 12 depot chargers. Funding was also approved for a future project that will include purchasing 14 zero-emission buses to replace CNG — or compressed natural gas — buses.

More than $2 million in funding was approved for NCTD to purchase a half-dozen replacement battery-electric zero emission buses and eight replacement hydrogen zero emission buses.

— City News Service