Bus service is going electric for people shuttling between the Davis and Sacramento campuses, including the forthcoming Aggie Square innovation and technology hub.
The electric buses, expected to go into service late next year, also will make stops in West Sacramento and downtown Sacramento. Volkswagen subsidiary Electrify America is providing the buses as part of a $44 million investment that comes with the designation of Sacramento as Electrify America’s first “Green City.”
“This investment in our region is an important step in better connecting UC Davis and Sacramento,” Chancellor Gary S. May said. “It will set the stage for Aggie Square to be a focal point for innovation in green transportation.”
Sacramento Regional Transit and the Yolo County Transportation District will operate the new electric service, which will replace UC Davis’ intercampus shuttle and operate with greater frequency. The existing shuttle runs hourly, while the new electric buses are expected to depart every half-hour, and up to every 15 minutes during peak commute times.
As Aggie Square takes shape, more frequent bus service will make it easier for students to collaborate with researchers there or fit Sacramento-based internships into their schedules. The service will also make it easier for commuters to make fewer solo trips in their cars — a UC-wide goal.
Planners estimate the service will provide 400,000 rides in its first year — more than four times as many rides on the intercampus shuttle each year.
Just as Aggie Square is a collaboration between UC Davis and the city of Sacramento and others, so too is the electric transit project. The offices of Chancellor May and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg had encouraged agencies throughout the region to consider creative partnerships for improved transportation — and the Sacramento Regional Transit and Yolo County Transportation District answered the call.
Electrify America is providing 12 buses for the project — an increase from the pair of charter buses that make up the intercampus shuttle today. Electrify America says the new buses will arrive in a year to 18 months from now.
Electrify America is planning to invest $800 million in zero-emission transportation infrastructure and education in California — part of a $2 billion investment across the country that will be rolled out between now and 2027.
The Sacramento Green City project also will provide electric charging stations, a shuttle service in south Sacramento and an app-based electric-car-share service.