As policymakers and communities struggle with questions about how to clean our air and protect and create new jobs, a respected scientist from Jobs to Move America released a new report today, “Transforming Transit, Realizing Opportunity” that shows how those goals can be achieved.
The report takes a comprehensive look at how cities can electrify public bus fleets to maximize benefits for the environment, public health, riders, workers, and communities.
Through economic modeling and dozens of interviews with workers, leaders from public transit agencies, environmental and community-based organizations, the report offers a suite of policy recommendations that will enable agencies to center community health, climate solutions, and good job creation in their adoption of battery-electric bus technology and infrastructure. Notably, the report finds that full-scale electrification of public bus fleets in the U.S. could create at least 20,000 good American manufacturing jobs.
“In pursuing the transition to BEBs and supporting the creation of direct and indirect green jobs, transit agencies can serve as a template for other government vehicle fleets to go electric,” writes Anand R. Gopal, Program Officer of the Environment Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, in the report’s preface.
With zero tailpipe emissions and electric engines that are expected to require less maintenance over time, battery-electric bus technology is estimated to save cities and states costs over the course of their electrification programs.
“At Jobs to Move America, we are committed to developing policies that work towards a healthier, cleaner environment without leaving frontline workers behind. This report is one example of how we can accomplish that goal,” says Dr. Christy Veeder, National Program Director at Jobs to Move America and author of the report.
The report’s comprehensive policy recommendations will allow U.S. transit agencies to not only surmount the technical and financial hurdles that accompany a large-scale transition but to realize even greater health and economic benefits through bus electrification. Taken together, these recommendations will boost the capacity of cities and states to build clean, climate-safe infrastructure while safeguarding the livelihoods of all workers.
“Bus mechanics and operators across America recognize the environmental benefits of expanding our transit systems’ electric bus fleets. Protecting and expanding job opportunities during this transition is essential to ensure that electric bus services reach their full potential. That is why we support proposals that ensure transit workers and their unions become partners with the agencies in identifying the new skills and training programs necessary to safely operate and maintain the new equipment,” said Amalgamated Transit Union International President John Costa.