Optimizing the Roll-Out of the Innovative Clean Transit Rule with a Focus on Suburban Settings

Research Team: Michael Cassidy (lead), Yueyan Fan, Carlos Daganzo, Jean Doig, Wesley Darling, and Yunteng Zhang

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley, UC Davis

Problem Statement: California's Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) rule–which mandates the gradual adoption of zero-emission buses (ZEBs)–has created some challenges for bus agencies due to the higher cost of ZEBs and difficulties with recharging and refueling. There are policies in place to help mitigate these costs, but transit agencies will likely need to make changes to how they serve the public to account for changing costs stemming from the ICT. This need is particularly salient in suburban areas, where lower transit demand translates to higher costs per transit trip. The current economic climate and the impending budget shortfall that many transit agencies in California expect to experience when COVID-19 relief funds are expended make these adaptations even more critical.

Project Description: This project will model the impact of the ICT on transit agencies in California, focusing on suburban areas with high per-trip transit costs, and subsequently develop guidance for transit agencies based on modeling results. The project will also develop guidance for policymakers, particularly about publicly provided tools and assistance–like targeted subsidies, compensation packages, and incentives–that support optimal outcomes with the ICT roll-out. To ensure the real-world efficacy of the research, the team will collaborate with various stakeholders, ranging from shared mobility companies that operate fleets of electric shared-ride taxis to traditional bus operators.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $135,000