Los Angeles Metro Board Awards One of the Largest Single Electric Bus Contracts in US History to BYD
Electric buses to create dozens of direct local jobs, expected to be used to electrify Metro Silver Line from El Monte to San Pedro
Los Angeles, California. USA. July 27, 2017. In a unanimous vote, the Board of Los Angeles Metro, one of the largesttransportation systemsin the United States, voted today to award a contract for 60 40-footall-electricbuses to local manufacturer BYD. This is among the largest single contractsfor electric buses in US history, and will directly lead to 59 new manufacturing jobs at the BYD factory in Lancaster, California.
LA Metro is expected to use the buses to electrify the Silver Line bus service, which runsthroughout the county,from El Monte into Downtown Los Angeles and then south to San Pedro. This route covers a number of communities that have seen significant advocacy around environmental justice, with a severe need for this kind of investment in improved air quality.
“The communities along the Silver Line deserve clean air, and we’re glad that LA Metro is committing to electric operations,” said Stella Li, President of BYD America. “In addition to a quieter, zero-emissions ride along the Silver Line, these buses mean more manufacturing jobs in LA County. We’re thrilled to get to work producing these buses for LA Metro.”
This award comes weeks after BYD signed a Community Benefits Agreement with the Jobs to Move America Coalition, which includes community, faith, labor, and environmental organizations working to advance good job and equity outcomes through transit investments, and as BYD moves forward on union negotiations with the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers Local 105.The factory in Lancaster currently employs over 700 Californians making buses and trucks.
“LA Metro is certainly right to be electrifying, and we’re particularly glad they are working with a company like BYD with a clear commitment to workingwith our community and labor partners to create a pipeline for underserved and underrepresented populations into good jobs,” added Erika Thi Patterson, National Policy Director at Jobs to Move America. “That means environmental justice and economic justice for people from the ports to the Antelope Valley.”
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