Los Angeles – The California Air Resources Board voted on Friday to mandate that all transit agencies in California operate 100 percent zero emission transit buses by 2040, and to use this transition to invest in workforce development training programs in manufacturing, infrastructure installation, and maintenance.
The rule, which includes language calling for good jobs and resolving to develop further workforce policies, was passed after years of advocacy from a broad coalition of labor, environmental and economic justice organizations including the United Steelworkers, Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Union of Concerned Scientists, American Lung Association, BlueGreen Alliance, Coalition for Clean Air, Jobs to Move America, CWA District 9, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 11, IBEW Local 569, and IBEW LMCC.
According to research from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, if all of the buses purchased under this mandate were built in the U.S., this mandate could support up to 41,380 U.S. jobs. With policies such as the U.S. Employment Plan, California transit agencies will be able to incentivize bus companies to hire local workers as they transition to zero emission fleets. Such policies can also ensure historically excluded populations, including women and communities of color, have access to these jobs.
“The passing of this rule is a huge win for many in our communities who, despite working hard for years, have been unable to benefit from the Silicon Valley tech boom and infrastructure investment. Not only will this rule reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it also has the potential to create and support tens of thousands of jobs in our state,” said Abhilasha Bhola, Senior Policy Coordinator at Jobs to Move America.
“We’re proud to be part of this effort to move California to 100 percent clean buses that includes smart policies to help spur the manufacturing of these buses and the technology that goes into them here in the United States,” said JB Tengco, West Coast Director for the BlueGreen Alliance. “This is another example of how we can achieve our goals tackling climate change and secure and create good-paying jobs for American workers at the same time.”