SIMPLIFYING Zero-Emission Transit Bus Procurement: Lessons from Statewide Contracts

Published Apr 2020

Author: Jared Schnader, Hannah Hamilton
Organization: CALSTART

Regional focus:

This document shares the unique experiences of each U.S. state and the processes they underwent to
achieve a state-wide zero emission bus contract. It is intended to provide perspective, methods to
success, and lessons learned those interested in initiating their own statewide contracts. An analysis
of the Federal Transit Administration guidelines and Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act found
statewide contracts eligible for use by transit agencies across the country.

Public transportation employees are continuously stretched thin in many of their affairs, including the
procurement of new vehicles due to limited resources and bandwidth. Contract development using
federal guidelines for the purchase of new vehicles is time and resource demanding, and with advances
in zero-emission bus (ZEB) technology, the time and effort required to understand these new technologies
further attenuate resources. Recognizing the stress of new ZEB procurement on transit
operations, the centralized procurement departments of four states have stepped in to help. California’s
Department of General Services (DGS), Georgia’s Department of Administrative Services (DOAS),
Virginia’s Department of General Services (DGS) and Washington State’s Department of Enterprise
Services (DES) are leaders in the effort to alleviate the encumbrance of contract development as the first
to create state statewide contracts for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles.