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Greener Transit. Brighter Future.

Every time you ride the bus, you’re making our community a better place by choosing a lower emissions alternative to driving your own car. At Community Transit, we’ve prioritized sustainability and we’re going one step further to preserve our beautiful environment in Snohomish County: We are targeting a transition to a fully zero emissions fleet by 2044. This shift from diesel-powered to zero emissions buses represents the agency's most substantial investment to date.

Getting there

The shift to zero emissions buses is a priority for Community Transit and will help shape the future of mobility in Snohomish County. Along with new buses, there will be changes to our agency’s facilities, technology, operations, and training programs. Community Transit has undertaken a years-long study to evaluate and develop an operationally, fiscally, and environmentally sustainable strategy that will benefit transit riders and our community for generations to come.

On our way

In 2024, Community Transit concluded testing of a 60-foot battery electric bus (BEB) — maybe you saw it on the road. Our bus drivers and mechanics were “kicking the tires” and learning how these buses drive and are maintained. Some key takeaways from this study include:

  • Varied topography produces different results. For example, hilly terrain will use greater battery consumption versus flat roadways.
  • Training is important. Bus driver familiarity with operating the BEB has a great impact on overall efficiency and range of the vehicle.
  • Extreme hot or cold weather can be tough on batteries and significantly reduce their range.

Drivers who tested the BEB say, "It drives like a bus!" and "It's smooth and quiet, making it enjoyable to drive." These comments highlight how easy and comfortable it can feel to transition to a bus powered by clean energy.

The zero emissions fleet transition will provide a chance to train existing employees for the evolving landscape of electric transportation. Moreover, it will provide job opportunities at Community Transit in areas like maintenance, infrastructure, and fleet management.

The road ahead

In 2024, Community Transit will begin testing a 40-foot battery-electric bus (BEB) and a 40-foot fuel cell electric bus (FCEB) in service. With both zero emissions buses out on the road, we will compare the two types of electric buses and you’ll get a chance to try out this new type of ride! Lessons learned from these initial investments will determine a long-term strategy to transition the entire fleet to zero emissions.

As with any big project, the full transition to zero emissions will take time and careful planning. Development of a formal zero emissions transition plan is now underway. This plan is an important step in applying for federal and state grants.

To support this fleet transition, the agency also looking at making changes to current bus maintenance and storage facilities. We are working on a design that includes charging stations at Community Transit’s Hardeson Campus Service and Operations base and hydrogen storage at the Kasch Park Operations base.

Leading the charge with hydrogen fuel

In 2024, Community Transit will be the first agency operating a hydrogen fuel powered bus in the Puget Sound region, piloting the technology’s capabilities and learning about its challenges. The current focus is on exploring how to best secure a hydrogen fuel source locally.  Local, regional, and national partnerships and collaboration will be key as we move toward the sustainable deployment of clean transportation technology.

Stay tuned and share your feedback

Community organizations have had the opportunity to learn about the zero emissions program and give feedback on benefits and impacts to local communities.

Future opportunities to engage with the program include:

  • Field trips aboard a zero emissions bus
  • Online open house to learn more and a survey to give input
  • Learning about workforce development opportunities and partnering with Community Transit
  • Regular updates via Community Transit’s website and social media

If you have questions or want to comment on the zero emissions program, send an email to

Roadmap to zero emissions fleet and infrastructure

Phase 1:
  • Feasibility Study
  • PUD Impact Study
  • Deploy BETA Pilot
Phase 2:
  • Fleet Transition Plan Development
  • Grant Applications *April 2024 (Low-No + US EPA CPRG)
  • Facility Design Study *May 2024
  • BEB & FCEB Pilot Preparations *June 2024
Phase 3:
  • Deploy BEB & FCEB Pilot *July 2024 (BEB) + Sept. 2024 (FCEB)
Phase 4:
  • Capital Projects
  • Fleet Procurements
  • Training / Workforce Development
  • 30% Fleet Transition by 2030