Union City’s got the electric feel — council approves purchase of 14 new electric buses

UNION CITY, Calif. — The Union City Transit bus fleet is going electric, marking a major milestone in the city’s efforts to address the climate crisis.

The Union City City Council on Jan. 10 unanimously approved the purchase of 14 heavy-duty, electric buses from Livermore-based electric vehicle company Gillig for $1,179,740 apiece, or $16,516,360 total. The new electric buses are set to replace 14 of the city’s 18 compressed natural gas buses, which are at or near the end of their useful life.

Gillig is expected to build the buses during the third quarter of 2024.

That helps the city move toward reducing the greenhouse gases being emitted by fossil fuels burned for transportation, the largest source of emissions in the city, according to a 2005 greenhouse gas emissions inventory.

In 2005, the city emitted about 373,128 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from its residential, commercial/industrial, transportation and waste sectors. Cars and other vehicles driven in the city during that time emitted 159,226 tons, or 43% of total emissions.

City operations, including buildings, the vehicle fleet, streetlights, and water and sewage operations, emitted 3,886 tons of carbon dioxide in 2005, of which 2,642 tons (68% of the total) came from the vehicle fleet. The city as a whole accounted for just over 1% of the city’s total emissions.

Climate scientists agree that the best way to avoid the worst outcomes of climate change is to rapidly transition off of fossil fuels and electrify everything, including transportation.

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