Goal: Win commitments from the bus systems in Eugene (LTD) and Ashland (RVTD) to a 100% electric bus fleet by 2030.

All around us, we’re seeing the effects of climate change on our environment and our quality of life. Record-setting storms, raging wildfires and extreme drought are affecting our communities across the country and the world. Sea levels are rising even faster than scientists predicted and it’s no longer a question of if Antarctica will melt, but rather how fast.

The way our society is consuming energy is unsustainable and unsafe. One-third of Oregon’s energy use comes from transportation: personal cars, fleets, shipments, and more. Transportation – by air, water, rail, or road – is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon, at 39 percent.

One of the ways that we know we can help alleviate this problem is by relying far more heavily on our public transportation systems, like buses. However, while buses are a big help on this issue, as they contribute to taking hundreds of cars off the road, it’s only a minor and temporary solution as long as buses themselves continue to pump out dangerous carbon into the atmosphere.

The simplest solution to alleviating the strain of carbon emissions that buses put on the environment is to switch our buses to electric power rather than diesel. According to a report by U.S. PIRG, replacing all of the diesel-powered transit buses with electric buses in the United States could save more than 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Electric buses also cost less in the long run; while purchasing an electric bus up front is more expensive, transit companies save enough money on fuel to more than make up for the additional cost. While an electric bus costs $109,000 more than a hybrid up front, Eugene’s bus LTD estimates that it will cost $300,000 less to operate an electric bus than a hybrid over the course of its life.

No matter what source of energy generates the electricity, electric buses are cleaner than diesel.