The first of three new GreenPower EV Star shuttles will be put into service beginning Monday, June 15, 2020 as part of Electrify America’s more than $40 million Green Cities investments in Sacramento. The vehicles are being integrated into SacRT’s highly popular SmaRT Ride on-demand micro-shuttle program servicing the Franklin-South Sacramento communities.
SmaRT Ride is the first on-demand micro-transit program in Sacramento with an innovative service model that provides point-to-point transportation. SacRT began piloting the service in February 2018 in partnership with the Franklin Neighborhood Development Corporation using compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. As of February 2020, SacRT was recording more than 230 passengers per day, a sizable ridership that demonstrates demand for public mobility options within the Franklin-South Sacramento community.
The GreenPower EV Star shuttles were assembled in Porterville, California and retrofitted with a unique side door configuration added to facilitate shuttle access for those with special needs. Electrify America fully subsidized the costs of the shuttles, the DC fast-charging infrastructure to support them, and the retrofit costs.
“The Electrify America Green City Initiative has prioritized investments that increase access to clean mobility options and technology, particularly in low-income and disadvantaged communities in Sacramento,” said Richard Steinberg, Senior Director Marketing, Communications and Green Cities at Electrify America.
With ridership demand showing promising results in the south area, SacRT is expanding the SmaRT Ride Franklin-South Sacramento service zone to now include parts of Oak Park. As of June 15, SmaRT Ride will also service approximately one-square mile into the south Oak Park neighborhood, an area historically challenged by limited public transportation options.
“The success of SacRT’s micro-shuttle service in the Franklin-South Sacramento area presented us with a prime opportunity to significantly decrease carbon emissions by introducing EV shuttles into the fleet,” Steinberg said. “Expanding service to another under-resourced transit community now also gives Oak Park residents the ability to make connections to major destinations and other transit routes outside their neighborhood.”
“With three new EV shuttles to be incorporated into our fleet, we will have increased capacity to provide new service options to Oak Park residents.” said SacRT General Manager Henry Li. “The on-demand EV shuttle and our new Causeway Connection all-electric bus service linking Sacramento and Davis, are both part of our ongoing effort to modernize and electrify mobility options for Sacramentans.”