Congressman Panetta Introduces Legislation to Encourage the Development and Deployment of Zero-Emission Buses

November 19, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) introduced legislation to create a tax credit to encourage municipalities to purchase and use zero-emission buses. The Green Bus Tax Credit Act creates a 10% manufacturer’s tax credit for electric and hydrogen fuel-cell buses.

"Municipalities across the central coast of California are trying to transition their fleets to greener models, but the cost can strain their local budgets," said Congressman Panetta. "This tax credit will encourage the development and deployment of zero-emission buses in California and the country and will assist our communities in playing their part in the fight against climate change."

California law mandates that all new municipal buses purchased by municipalities must be zero-emission starting by 2029, and all fleets must be zero-emission by 2040. This legislation will encourage municipalities to meet that requirement ahead of time by reducing the price of zero-emission buses. It will help California meet its goal to reduce transportation sector emissions within the budgets of local transit agencies. The legislation will also spur the development of the zero-emission bus industry, bringing down prices and making green buses more affordable across the country.

"By providing tax credits to zero emission bus manufacturers that will be passed along to customers, including MST, this legislation takes a monumental step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to global climate change. It locally creates a healthier and more responsible environment for the people who live, work and play on the Central Coast," said Carl Sedoryk, CEO of the Monterey-Salinas Transit District.

"Santa Cruz METRO applauds Congressman Panetta for his efforts to make zero emissions vehicles affordable for public transit agencies. Since May 2017, it has been METRO’s goal to transition to a zero emissions fleet, but the significant cost differences between clean fuel buses and zero emissions buses has had a real impact on our purchasing decisions. This legislation will help us meet the goal of a zero emissions fleet sooner than expected should it be enacted," said Alex Clifford, CEO of Santa Cruz METRO.

"California leads the nation in the deployment and manufacturing of zero-emission buses. The Green Bus Tax Credit Act – an important complement to state-level incentives and California’s air quality goals – will bolster our state’s leadership in clean transportation and help prove the adage: ‘As California goes, so goes the Nation,’" said Joshua W. Shaw, Executive Director, California Transit Association.