TRANSITiON to Zero

Jared Schnader

Singular focus on the US transitioning the nation's transit fleet to zero-emission vehicles. There are challenges, implications, policy issues, and opportunities. Led by the national nonprofit technical consulting firm, CALSTART, the podcast is produced, edited, and hosted by Jared Schnader, Senior Director and Bus Initiative Lead. Interviews, discussion, and debate with transit thought leaders, DOTs, consultants, and transit agencies give listeners a robust knowledge base that cannot be learned in webinars, Zoom calls, and conference presentations. read less
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Episodes

CTE's Transit Vision
Yesterday
CTE's Transit Vision
The episode of Transition to Zero podcast features an insightful conversation between host Jared Schnader and Dan Raudebaugh, CEO of CTE Center for Transportation and the Environment. Raudebaugh shares his extensive experience in the field, spanning nearly 30 years, and delves into the mission and work of CTE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing clean transportation technologies. **Key Points:** - **Introduction to CTE:** Raudebaugh provides a brief history of CTE, outlining its inception and evolution over the years. Founded around 30 years ago, CTE initially focused on managing projects related to electric and hybrid electric vehicles, primarily through partnerships with organizations like DARPA. - **CTE's Initiatives:** Raudebaugh discusses CTE's multifaceted approach to advancing clean transportation. He highlights three core areas of focus: prototype vehicle development and demonstration, smart deployment practices, and fleet transition planning. - **Prototype Vehicle Development:** CTE has a track record of successfully building and demonstrating prototype vehicles, including the first hybrid electric Humvee and Bluebird's first battery electric school bus. Raudebaugh emphasizes the importance of nonprofits like CTE in managing projects and funding to support technology providers. - **Smart Deployment Practices:** Raudebaugh explains CTE's innovative approach of working with end-users to deploy vehicles, utilizing modeling software to optimize routes and charging infrastructure for maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness. - **Fleet Transition Planning:** CTE assists operators in creating strategic plans to transition their entire fleets to zero emissions, utilizing modeling software to analyze routes and recommend the best options, whether battery electric or fuel cell. - **Policy Work and Vision:** Beyond project implementation, CTE engages in policy advocacy at both federal and state levels, aiming to facilitate the transition to zero emission transportation. Raudebaugh emphasizes CTE's vision of a carbon-free transportation system in the US and the organization's commitment to working towards this goal. - **Technology Transition in Transit:** Schnader and Raudebaugh discuss the evolution of clean transportation technologies, particularly in transit. They highlight the role of transit agencies as technology incubators and emphasize the significance of transit in reducing emissions and congestion in urban areas. - **Challenges and Future Outlook:** Raudebaugh acknowledges the challenges in transitioning to zero emission transportation, particularly in terms of technology readiness and infrastructure development. He shares his optimism for the future, targeting 2050 as a feasible timeline for achieving widespread adoption of zero emission vehicles in the transit sector. **Closing Thoughts:** The conversation between Schnader and Raudebaugh provides valuable insights into the efforts and challenges associated with transitioning to zero emission transportation. Raudebaugh's expertise and passion for clean transportation underscore the importance of collaborative efforts among industry stakeholders, policymakers, and nonprofit organizations like CTE in driving sustainable change.
Upgrading Facilities and Space Constraints
Feb 6 2024
Upgrading Facilities and Space Constraints
Show Notes: Transitioning Transit Fleets to Zero Emissions   John Havrilla from Wendel, an architectural andengineering firm with an area of focus on facilities upgrades, discusses various aspects of transitioning transit fleets to alternative fuels, focusing on the challenges and solutions encountered in the process. There was a discussion around first responder training and battery fires. Wendel created a white paper to discuss battery safety that can be found here: https://wendelcompanies.com/indoor-battery-electric-bus-charging/ Working closely with utilities is essential, John explains, as they play a significant role beyond providing power for electric vehicles (EVs). Collaborating on rate structures, managing demand charges, and structuring cost-effective plans for transit clients are key areas of focus. Phasing and transition plans are crucial to optimize utility benefits and accommodate evolving needs over time. Space constraints pose significant challenges during the transition. John highlights the example of an older facility in Stanford, where structural modifications were necessary to accommodate new equipment for EV charging. Creative solutions, such as innovative placement of charging equipment, are employed to overcome these limitations while ensuring efficient operations. When planning new facilities, flexibility in design is paramount to accommodate future transitions to alternative fuels. Factors such as reliable power access, site planning for power infrastructure, and potential space reservations for future fueling needs must be considered. The evolving requirements for parts storage and maintenance facilities are also addressed, particularly in the context of transitioning from diesel to electric buses. Inductive charging technology presents both challenges and potential benefits for zero-emission fleets. While its wireless capabilities are appealing, challenges such as limited suppliers, proprietary equipment, and the absence of standardized approaches must be overcome. Bus manufacturers are hesitant to adopt inductive charging without a uniform standard, highlighting the need for collaboration to establish reliable standards in the industry. **Introduction** In this episode, Jared Schnader and John Havrilla discuss the complexities of transitioning transit fleets to zero emissions. John Havrilla, an expert in architectural and engineering solutions for transit facilities, provides valuable insights into the challenges and considerations involved in this transition. **Working with Utilities (21:07.658)** John emphasizes the crucial role of utilities beyond providing power for vehicles. He discusses how collaboration with utilities involves discussions on rate structures, demand charges, and structuring plans for transit clients to ensure economic viability. John highlights the importance of understanding the utility grid's reliability and working hand in hand with utilities to develop transition plans. **Addressing Space Constraints (24:12.375)** Space constraints pose significant challenges in retrofitting existing facilities for zero-emission fleets. John shares an example of the Stanford garage of CT Transit, where innovative solutions were implemented to accommodate charging equipment and structural modifications. He discusses the importance of creative space utilization and the challenges of placing charging equipment while considering distance limitations. **Comparing Battery Electric and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Planning (26:34.953)** John contrasts the facility requirements for battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. He highlights the critical differences in ventilation, detection systems, and fueling infrastructure. John emphasizes the challenges of ensuring safety and compliance with evolving codes, especially for hydrogen fueling facilities. **Planning for Future Flexibility (32:20.775)** In planning new transit facilities, John advises considering future fleet transitions and technological advancements. He emphasizes the importance of assessing power availability, reliability, and space allocation for potential alternative fuels. John discusses the need for flexibility in facility design to accommodate evolving fleet technologies and changing operational needs. **Conclusion** The discussion with John Havrilla sheds light on the multifaceted considerations involved in transitioning transit fleets to zero emissions. From collaboration with utilities to innovative space utilization and future-proof facility planning, the conversation underscores the complex challenges and opportunities in this transition journey. **Inductive Charging Considerations (38:48.203)** John expresses interest in inductive charging technology as a potential solution for zero-emission fleets. He highlights the challenges associated with inductive charging, including limited suppliers, proprietary equipment, and the absence of a uniform standard. Despite the appeal of inductive charging for its wireless capabilities, John notes the reluctance of bus manufacturers to adopt it without a standardized approach. He underscores the need for collaboration among transit agencies, manufacturers, and regulatory bodies to establish a reliable standard for inductive charging, which could unlock its potential as a viable option for future fleet electrification.
CTAA Series Part 6: Empowering the Workforce for the Future of Electrification
Dec 12 2023
CTAA Series Part 6: Empowering the Workforce for the Future of Electrification
Welcome to Transition to Zero, the definitive series bringing you into the facets of integrating innovative and emerging technologies into your fleet systems, brought to you in partnership with the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and non-profit technical consultancy CALSTART. In this seven-part series, host Jared Schnader and the special guests presenting at the CTAA webinars are navigating through the intricacies of Fleet Transition Plans (FTPs), the crucial roadmaps that aid organizations in construction, funding, and upgrades while adopting low- or zero-emission technologies. πŸŽ™ Part 6: Empowering the Workforce for the Future of Electrification Part six of the series will focus on workforce development initiatives essential for a smooth and successful transition to electrification. Jared is joined by James Hall, the Principal and Founder of ZEB Tech, a workforce development consultancy focused on guiding transit agencies and partners through their transition to a zero-emission fleet. In this episode, they identify the resources transit agencies can use to ensure efficient training and preparation for maintenance and operations teams. James, an experienced representative in workforce development training for the industry, will share valuable insights into the best practices for developing a skilled and knowledgeable team ready to transition to an electric fleet. Tune in to learn how to leverage these resources for your workforce effectively.  πŸ“š Series Overview: This enlightening series is conceived with a vision to empower you with a comprehensive understanding and confidence to utilize FTPs effectively, irrespective of whether your transition is imminent in five years or projected in 50 years. The series elucidates each element of the FTP, providing listeners with nuanced discussions and unfiltered insights into each topic. 🌟 Special Features: Immersive, special episodes with detailed discussions surrounding the CTAA member-exclusive webinar series Unfiltered conversations with industry experts about the intricacies of FTPs and the elements they are composed of 🎯 Objective: Transition to Zero is tailored to guide you through the dynamic realms of technological advancements and evolving policies, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions and progress your fleet with assurance. 🌐 Listen & Subscribe: Tune in to Transition to Zero and subscribe to stay updated on the latest episodes available on your preferred podcast platform. Transition to Zero Podcast CALSTART The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Scott Bogren, Executive Director at CTAA
CTAA Series Part 5: Utility Partnerships and Facility Planning
Nov 28 2023
CTAA Series Part 5: Utility Partnerships and Facility Planning
Welcome to Transition to Zero, the definitive series bringing you into the facets of integrating innovative and emerging technologies into your fleet systems, brought to you in partnership with the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and non-profit technical consultancy CALSTART. In this 7-part series, host Jared Schnader and the special guests presenting at the CTAA webinars are navigating through the intricacies of Fleet Transition Plans (FTPs), the crucial roadmaps that aid organizations in construction, funding, and upgrades while adopting low- or zero-emission technologies. πŸŽ™ Part 5: Utility Partnerships and Facility Planning In Part Five, we discuss applying the data from route modeling, load profiling, and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) to develop your FTPs. This episode's special guest, Lynn Felcyn from DTE Energy, will provide insights into the essentials of utility interaction. This episode will address common questions and challenges transit agencies face, such as initiating contact with utilities and engaging effectively with the right team members. You will learn the best practices for reaching out to your utility, understanding who to contact, and how to foster a partnership with them.  πŸ“š Series Overview: This enlightening series is conceived with a vision to empower you with a comprehensive understanding and confidence to utilize FTPs effectively, irrespective of whether your transition is imminent in 5 years or projected in 50 years. The series elucidates each element of the FTP, providing listeners with nuanced discussions and unfiltered insights into each topic. 🌟 Special Features: Immersive, special episodes with detailed discussions surrounding the CTAA member-exclusive webinar series Unfiltered conversations with industry experts about the intricacies of FTPs 🎯 Objective: Transition to Zero is tailored to guide you through the dynamic realms of technological advancements and evolving policies, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions and progress your fleet with assurance. 🌐 Listen & Subscribe: Tune in to Transition to Zero and subscribe to stay updated on the latest episodes available on your preferred podcast platform. Transition to Zero Podcast CALSTART The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Scott Bogren, Executive Director at CTAA
CTAA Series Part 4: Aligning Fleet Transition Plans with Policy
Nov 14 2023
CTAA Series Part 4: Aligning Fleet Transition Plans with Policy
Welcome to Transition to Zero, the definitive series bringing you into the facets of integrating innovative and emerging technologies into your fleet systems, brought to you in partnership with the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and non-profit technical consultancy CALSTART. In this 7-part series, host Jared Schnader and the special guests presenting at the CTAA webinars are navigating through the intricacies of Fleet Transition Plans (FTPs), the crucial roadmaps that aid organizations in construction, funding, and upgrades while adopting low- or zero-emission technologies. πŸŽ™ Part 4: Aligning Fleet Transition Plans with Policy In Part Four, we explore the intersection of policy and FTPs with Pete Gould, Senior Vice President at Boundary Stone Partners, and Orville Thomas, CEO of the California Mobility Center. With policies playing a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of fleet transitions, being informed, engaged, and aligned is essential for every transit agency. Join CTAA, CALSTART, and Boundary Stone representatives as they discuss the influence of federal and state policies on fleet transitions. Part Four will guide transit agencies on effective policy engagement, emphasizing alignment with local, state, and federal policies, particularly for your Low or No Emission Vehicle Program applications. Learn how to align your agency's goals with current guidelines and engage with policymakers to advocate for successful transitions. πŸ“š Series Overview: This enlightening series is conceived with a vision to empower you with a comprehensive understanding and confidence to utilize FTPs effectively, irrespective of whether your transition is imminent in 5 years or projected in 50 years. The series elucidates each element of the FTP, providing listeners with nuanced discussions and unfiltered insights into each topic. 🌟 Special Features: Immersive, special episodes with detailed discussions surrounding the CTAA member-exclusive webinar series Unfiltered conversations with industry experts about the intricacies of FTPs 🎯 Objective: Transition to Zero is tailored to guide you through the dynamic realms of technological advancements and evolving policies, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions and progress your fleet with assurance. πŸ“£ Join the Conversation: Embark on this enlightening journey with us to gain the expertise and insight required to navigate your transition seamlessly. Engage in insightful discussions and deepen your understanding of how to meticulously plan and implement these cutting-edge technologies into your fleet system. 🌐 Listen & Subscribe: Tune in to Transition to Zero and subscribe to stay updated on the latest episodes available on your preferred podcast platform. Transition to Zero Podcast CALSTART The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Scott Bogren, Executive Director at CTAA
CTAA Series Part 3: Optimizing Your Fleet with Route Energy Modeling and Total Cost of Ownership
Oct 31 2023
CTAA Series Part 3: Optimizing Your Fleet with Route Energy Modeling and Total Cost of Ownership
Welcome to Transition to Zero, the definitive series bringing you into the facets of integrating innovative and emerging technologies into your fleet systems, brought to you in partnership with the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and non-profit technical consultancy CALSTART. In this 7-part series, host Jared Schnader and the special guests presenting at the CTAA webinars are navigating through the intricacies of Fleet Transition Plans (FTPs), the crucial roadmaps that aid organizations in construction, funding, and upgrades while adopting low- or zero-emission technologies. πŸŽ™ Part 3: Route Energy Modeling and Total Cost of Ownership As transit agencies manage the complexities of integrating different bus makes and models into specific transit corridors, route energy modeling (REM) emerges as an essential tool to navigate these challenges. In this episode, Brian Ballschmidt, Mike Hynes, and Aditya Kushwah from CALSTART discuss best practices and strategies for monitoring and evaluating operations while accounting for all the factors that make your fleet unique, such as climate, passenger load, charging station design, and hours of operations, among other factors. They also discuss the total cost of ownership (TCO) and how to present its implications to stakeholders. πŸ“š Series Overview: This enlightening series is conceived with a vision to empower you with a comprehensive understanding and confidence to utilize FTPs effectively, irrespective of whether your transition is imminent in 5 years or projected in 50 years. The series elucidates each element of the FTP, providing listeners with nuanced discussions and unfiltered insights into each topic. 🌟 Special Features: Immersive, special episodes with detailed discussions surrounding the CTAA member-exclusive webinar series Unfiltered conversations with industry experts about the intricacies of FTPs 🎯 Objective: Transition to Zero is tailored to guide you through the dynamic realms of technological advancements and evolving policies, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions and progress your fleet with assurance. πŸ“£ Join the Conversation: Embark on this enlightening journey with us to gain the expertise and insight required to navigate your transition seamlessly. Engage in insightful discussions and deepen your understanding of how to meticulously plan and implement these cutting-edge technologies into your fleet system. 🌐 Listen & Subscribe: Tune in to Transition to Zero and subscribe to stay updated on the latest episodes available on your preferred podcast platform. Transition to Zero Podcast CALSTART The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Scott Bogren, Executive Director at CTAA
CTAA Series Part 2: Setting a Foundation with the Fleet Intake Form
Oct 17 2023
CTAA Series Part 2: Setting a Foundation with the Fleet Intake Form
Welcome to Transition to Zero, the definitive series bringing you into the facets of integrating innovative and emerging technologies into your fleet systems, brought to you in association with the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and the eminent non-profit technical consultancy, CALSTART. In this 7-part series, host Jared Schnader and the special guests presenting at the CTAA webinars are navigating through the intricacies of Fleet Transition Plans (FTPs), the crucial roadmaps that aid organizations in construction, funding, and upgrades while adopting low or zero-emission technologies. πŸŽ™ Part 2: Fleet Intake Forms In Part 2, we are discussing a crucial component of the Fleet Transition Plan: the intake form. Learn the substantive impacts of each input field with the guidance of this episode's guest, Mike Hynes from CALSTART. CALSTART and CTAA are discussing the relevance and importance of every input on the intake form, correlating it directly with the integrity of your transition plan.  πŸ“š Series Overview: This enlightening series is conceived with a vision to empower you with a comprehensive understanding and confidence to utilize FTPs effectively, irrespective of whether your transition is imminent in 5 years or projected in 50 years. The series elucidates each element of the FTP, providing listeners with nuanced discussions and unfiltered insights into each topic. 🌟 Special Features: Immersive, special episodes with detailed discussions surrounding the CTAA member-exclusive webinar series Unfiltered conversations with industry experts about the intricacies of FTPs 🎯 Objective: Transition to Zero is tailored to guide you through the dynamic realms of technological advancements and evolving policies, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions and progress your fleet with assurance. πŸ“£ Join the Conversation: Embark on this enlightening journey with us to gain the expertise and insight required to navigate your transition seamlessly. Engage in insightful discussions and deepen your understanding of how to meticulously plan and implement these cutting-edge technologies into your fleet system. 🌐 Listen & Subscribe: Tune in to Transition to Zero and subscribe to stay updated on the latest episodes available on your preferred podcast platform. Transition to Zero Podcast CALSTART The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Scott Bogren, Executive Director at CTAA
CTAA Series Part 1: Mastering the Blueprint of Fleet Transition Plans
Oct 3 2023
CTAA Series Part 1: Mastering the Blueprint of Fleet Transition Plans
Welcome to Transition to Zero, the definitive series bringing you into the facets of integrating innovative and emerging technologies into your fleet systems, brought to you in association with the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and the eminent non-profit technical consultancy, CALSTART. In this 7-part series, host Jared Schnader and the special guests presenting at the CTAA webinars are navigating through the intricacies of Fleet Transition Plans (FTPs), the crucial roadmaps that aid organizations in construction, funding, and upgrades while adopting low or zero-emission technologies. πŸŽ™ Part 1: Mastering the Blueprint In Part 1, we unfold a high-level overview of what entails an FTP and its imperative nature in today’s evolving technological and political landscapes alongside special guests Mike Hynes and Maureen Marshall from CALSTART. Join us as we dissect the relevance of stakeholder engagement, explore the multifaceted utilities of the plan, and discern how having this plan in place can unlock more funding and support. πŸ“š Series Overview: This enlightening series is conceived with a vision to empower you with a comprehensive understanding and confidence to utilize FTPs effectively, irrespective of whether your transition is imminent in 5 years or projected in 50 years. The series elucidates each element of the FTP, providing listeners with nuanced discussions and unfiltered insights into each topic. 🌟 Special Features: Immersive, special episodes with detailed discussions surrounding the CTAA member-exclusive webinar series Unfiltered conversations with industry experts about the intricacies of FTPs 🎯 Objective: Transition to Zero is tailored to guide you through the dynamic realms of technological advancements and evolving policies, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions and progress your fleet with assurance. πŸ“£ Join the Conversation: Embark on this enlightening journey with us to gain the expertise and insight required to navigate your transition seamlessly. Engage in insightful discussions and deepen your understanding of how to meticulously plan and implement these cutting-edge technologies into your fleet system. 🌐 Listen & Subscribe: Tune in to Transition to Zero and subscribe to stay updated on the latest episodes available on your preferred podcast platform. Transition to Zero Podcast CALSTART The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Scott Bogren, Executive Director at CTAA
Cyber Security in Transit Systems
Sep 19 2023
Cyber Security in Transit Systems
In this episode of Transition to Zero, hosted by Jared Schnader, Duncan Woodbury discusses the intersection of cyber security and transit infrastructure, highlighting vulnerabilities and shedding light on the steps to mitigate them. Duncan is the CEO and President of Liberas, a cyber-security firm specifically honed in on utilities and their essential connection points. Key Points: Unmasking Threats in Transit: Understand how cyber threats are not just limited to large organizations but also exist within our daily transit systems. Types of Attacks: What kind of cyber attacks can be executed on transit elements like buses? How does charging infrastructure become a potential target, and what does it mean for the overarching electrical grid? Critical Vulnerabilities: Explore the potential interruptions to charging sequences, risks of data siphoning, and the gravity of gaining unauthorized access to pivotal infrastructure components. The Art of Aversion: With knowledge comes the power to prevent. Duncan shares insights on common failure points in cyber security and presents methodologies to ward off potential threats. Key Takeaways for Stakeholders: A particularly enlightening segment for utilities, transit agencies, and OEMs to understand and adapt to the current cyber landscape in transit. As the world transitions towards more integrated and technologically advanced transit systems, understanding and thwarting cyber threats becomes paramount. This episode with Duncan Woodbury gives listeners a masterclass in cyber security within the realm of transit, making it a must-listen for everyone involved in the domain.
The Future of Transportation: Autonomous Vehicles, Electrified Fleets, and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology
Aug 22 2023
The Future of Transportation: Autonomous Vehicles, Electrified Fleets, and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology
Host: Jared Schnader, Senior Director, Bus Initiative Leader at CALSTART Guests: Clinton Bench, Director of Fleet and Transit at UCLA, and Sharad Agarwal, Chief Operating Officer at Onward Podcast Summary: In this episode, Jared Schnader discusses the future of autonomous vehicles (AVs), the intersection of electric and hydrogen vehicles, and the technological advancements in transportation with Clinton Bench and Sharad Agarwal. They dive into the return on investment (ROI) of these technologies, the upcoming opportunities at the 2028 Olympics, and how business models in the mobility sector need to adapt for sustainability. With an exclusive focus on the experiences of UCLA and broader observations from Onward, the discussion underscores the steps and challenges involved in achieving the goal of carbon neutrality in vehicle operations. Key Takeaways: University of California's carbon neutrality initiative aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, and UCLA has reached about 33% electrification in its fleet.One of the biggest challenges during electrification is the lack of infrastructure planning, particularly for charging capabilities.Adaptive load management is essential to balance and prioritize electric charging needs.Safety and cost reduction are the primary driving factors behind the push toward autonomous vehicles in transportation.AVs have the potential to decrease long-term maintenance costs.Challenges in AVs stem from integrating them into unpredictable environments rather than the technology itself.The 2028 Olympics offers an opportunity to showcase zero-emission transportation.The distinction and applications of battery-electric vs. hydrogen fuel cell technology are essential to the future of transportation, which should include a blend of hydrogen and electric vehicles. Questions Covered During the Discussion: What are the primary concerns in transitioning from 33% electrification to 100%?What technologies do we need in the transportation sector?How do subsidies influence the transition to electric vehicles?What are the benefits of autonomous vehicles, and how do they fit into the zero-emission landscape?How does the ROI look for AVs?Why is the price of AV technology still high?How can autonomous buses impact safety?What challenges and innovations should we expect for the 2028 Olympics regarding transportation?What are the hopes and realities of implementing AVs and advanced transport during the Olympics?How has technology from transit percolated into trucking and vice versa?What potential advancements can we expect for electric vs. hydrogen vehicles? Discussion Highlights: Clinton delves deep into UCLA's experience, mentioning the university's aggressive push to electrify its fleet. Despite their impressive progress, they've faced challenges, particularly regarding charging infrastructure. Sharad underscores the importance of subsidies, especially in California, to support the growth of electric vehicles. He believes fleet-as-a-service could be a promising model and emphasizes the potential of electric vehicles acting as storage batteries.Safety is a primary reason to pursue AVs. The ROI in autonomous vehicles comes in terms of efficiency and the reduction of labor costs. AVs have the potential to standardize operations, leading to longer vehicle lifespans.The technology for dedicated autonomous vehicles has existed in Europe for two decades.The ideal 2028 Olympics includes a robust transportation system showcasing autonomous and electric vehicles. Overall, the discussion comprehensively shows the challenges and opportunities in zero-emission transportation. Whether it's through electrification, better infrastructure planning, or the integration of autonomous vehicles, the future of transportation is evolving rapidly.
METRO Magazine: Workforce Challenges, Transit Ridership, and the Push for Zero Emissions
Aug 8 2023
METRO Magazine: Workforce Challenges, Transit Ridership, and the Push for Zero Emissions
In this episode of the Transition to Zero podcast, host Jared Schnader talks with Alex Roman, Executive Editor of METRO Magazine, about the magazine's impact on the transit industry and the push towards zero emissions. The conversation also touches on the future of Metro Magazine, the undercurrents in the transit industry, the importance of transit as a career path, and the challenges of workforce shortages and declining ridership. Key Takeaways: METRO Magazine is an important voice in the transit industry, with a focus on bus, motor coach, and rail transportation.Zero emissions are a critical goal for the transit industry.Electrification is a significant trend within the transit industry, requiring agencies to plan for the shift to zero-emission vehicles.The transit workforce is aging, creating a shortage of workers, and therefore transit agencies should be promoted as great career paths for younger generations.Ridership is declining, posing another significant challenge for the transit industry.There is a pressing need for innovative solutions to address these challenges, and unprecedented funding is aiding this process. Questions Covered During the Discussion: What role does METRO Magazine play in the transit industry?How is the transition from print to online media affecting METRO Magazine?What are the current challenges and trends in the transit industry?How important is the transition to zero emissions for the industry?What is the future of ridership in the transit industry?What are workforce challenges does the transit industry face, and how can they be overcome? Discussion Highlights: The transit industry is undergoing a significant shift towards electrification and zero emissions, and OEMs are divesting from their internal combustion engine lines.Transit agencies face issues such as an aging workforce and declining ridership, but unprecedented funding is helping to address these.Despite these challenges, the transit industry provides a promising career path, especially for younger generations.Ridership trends differ across regions, with larger cities seeing a significant decline while some smaller cities remain relatively unaffected. Despite facing several challenges, the transit industry is at a critical turning point, supported by unprecedented funding and moving towards a zero-emission future. The transit industry can address issues like declining ridership by focusing on improving the customer experience and offering more flexible, innovative solutions. The sector offers promising career paths, especially for younger generations, and has the potential to contribute to reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality.
Zero-Emission Cutaways: The Hurdles and Opportunities
Jul 25 2023
Zero-Emission Cutaways: The Hurdles and Opportunities
In this episode, "Zero Emission Cutaways: The Hurdles and Opportunities" of the "Transition to Zero" podcast with Jared Schnader, Joe Meer and Frank Dopp provide a comprehensive overview of the battery electric cutaway market. They delve into their research findings on the state of the industry, its potential, and the associated challenges. Meer, the Director of Cooperative Purchasing Programs at Basin Transit, and Dopp, the COO of Fleet Maintenance Specialists, highlight that while the market is still in its early stages, it is growing rapidly, with several vendors emerging with innovative battery-electric cutaways. The duo also shares their insights on the market's challenges, including high vehicle costs, a lack of charging infrastructure, and the need for more standardized components. However, they also spotlight numerous opportunities, such as increasing demand for zero-emission vehicles, the burgeoning field of battery technology, and potential governmental incentives. The conversation further extends to include the state of the electric bus market, the hurdles and potentials of zero-emission cutaways, and the importance of collaboration and information sharing within the industry to overcome the prevailing challenges. Key Takeaways The battery-electric cutaway market is still nascent but exhibits rapid growth, with several promising vendors emerging.Quality control and careful vendor selection are essential due to the wide quality variance among electric cutaways.Significant challenges include the high cost of vehicles, the lack of charging infrastructure, and the need for more standardized components.Opportunities include increasing demand for zero-emission vehicles, developments in battery technology, and potential government incentives.Battery technology plays a crucial role in the performance and reliability of electric cutaways.Collaboration, information sharing, and government support are vital to address challenges and ensure the market's success. Questions Covered During the Discussion What are the challenges of the battery-electric cutaway market?What are the opportunities in the battery-electric cutaway market?What are the key factors to consider when purchasing an electric cutaway?What are the best vendors of electric cutaways?What are the biggest challenges to the battery-electric cutaway market?What are the most noteworthy opportunities in the battery-electric cutaway market?What steps must be taken to ensure the success of the battery-electric cutaway market? Discussion Highlights The nascent battery-electric cutaway market offers challenges and opportunities for vendors and buyers alike.Quality control and vendor reputation are crucial considerations when purchasing an electric cutaway.Battery technology, viewed as the "heart" of an electric vehicle, significantly impacts the vehicle's overall performance.The market's success hinges on addressing its current challenges, such as high vehicle costs, lack of charging infrastructure, and the need for more standardized components.Opportunities such as increasing demand for zero-emission vehicles, developments in battery technology, and potential government incentives can help the market thrive.Collaboration, information sharing, and government support are necessary for overcoming the challenges faced by the zero-emission cutaways market.
CTAA: Shift in Cutaway Market, Issues facing 5311 Agencies, Policy Recommendations
Jul 11 2023
CTAA: Shift in Cutaway Market, Issues facing 5311 Agencies, Policy Recommendations
Episode title: The Challenges of Transition to Zero Emission Buses in Rural Areas Guest: Scott Bogren, Executive Director of the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Topics discussed: The challenges of transitioning to zero emission buses in rural areas, including range limitations, lack of charging infrastructure, and political opposition How CTAA is working to help its members transition to zero emission buses The importance of equitable transition to zero emission buses, including in rural areas Key takeaways: The transition to zero emission buses is a complex challenge, especially in rural areas. There are a number of factors that make it difficult for rural transit agencies to transition to zero emission buses, including range limitations, lack of charging infrastructure, and political opposition. CTAA is working to help its members transition to zero emission buses by providing resources, technical assistance, and advocacy. It is important to ensure that the transition to zero emission buses is equitable, including in rural areas. Questions for discussion: What are some other challenges that rural transit agencies face in transitioning to zero emission buses? What can be done to address these challenges? How can we ensure that the transition to zero emission buses is equitable, including in rural areas? Scott Bogren on the challenges of transitioning to zero emission buses in rural areas: The challenges of transitioning to zero emission buses in rural areas are significant. Range limitations, lack of charging infrastructure, and political opposition are all major challenges that rural transit agencies face. Range limitations: Battery-electric buses have a shorter range than diesel buses, which can make it difficult for rural agencies to operate them on long routes. This is especially true in areas with cold winters, as the batteries lose range in cold weather. Lack of charging infrastructure: Rural areas often lack the charging infrastructure needed to support a fleet of zero emission buses. This can make it difficult for agencies to find places to charge their buses, which can limit their operational flexibility. Political opposition: In some rural areas, there is political opposition to the transition to zero emission buses. This is often due to concerns about the cost of the transition or the availability of charging infrastructure. Scott Bogren on how CTAA is helping its members transition to zero emission buses: CTAA is working to help its members transition to zero emission buses by providing resources, technical assistance, and advocacy. CTAA has developed a number of resources to help agencies assess their readiness for the transition, identify funding opportunities, and select the right vehicles and infrastructure. CTAA also provides technical assistance to agencies through webinars, workshops, and one-on-one consultations. In addition, CTAA advocates on behalf of its members at the federal and state levels to ensure that they have the resources they need to make the transition to zero emission buses. Scott Bogren on the importance of equitable transition to zero emission buses, including in rural areas: It is important to ensure that the transition to zero emission buses is equitable, including in rural areas. This means that all communities, regardless of size or location, should have access to the benefits of zero emission buses, such as reduced air pollution and improved public health. CTAA is committed to working with its members to ensure that the transition to zero emission buses is equitable for all communities. Scott Bogren on the challenges of transitioning to zero emission buses in rural areas: Range limitations: Battery-electric buses have a shorter range than diesel buses, which can make it difficult for rural agencies to operate them on long routes. This is especially true in areas with cold winters, as the batteries lose range in cold weather. Lack of charging infrastructure: Rural areas often lack the charging infrastructure needed to support a fleet of zero emission buses. This can make it difficult for agencies to find places to charge their buses, which can limit their operational flexibility. Political opposition: In some rural areas, there is political opposition to the transition to zero emission buses. This is often due to concerns about the cost of the transition or the availability of charging infrastructure. Scott Bogren on how CTAA is helping its members transition to zero emission buses: CTAA is working to help its members transition to zero emission buses by providing resources, technical assistance, and advocacy. CTAA has developed a number of resources to help agencies assess their readiness for the transition, identify funding opportunities, and select the right vehicles and infrastructure. CTAA also provides technical assistance to agencies through webinars, workshops, and one-on-one consultations. In addition, CTAA advocates on behalf of its members at the federal and state levels to ensure that they have the resources they need to make the transition to zero emission buses. Scott Bogren on the need for increased federal funding for zero emission buses: Scott Bogren believes that the federal government needs to increase funding for zero emission buses, especially for rural transit agencies. He argues that the current level of funding is not enough to meet the demand for zero emission buses, and that this is preventing many rural agencies from transitioning to a zero emission fleet. Scott Bogren on the future of zero emission buses in rural areas: Scott Bogren is optimistic about the future of zero emission buses in rural areas. He believes that the technology is improving rapidly, and that the cost of zero emission buses is coming down. He also believes that the political will to support the transition to zero emission buses is growing. As a result, he expects to see more and more rural transit agencies transitioning to a zero emission fleet in the coming years. Additional Highlights: Rural transit agencies face a number of challenges in transitioning to zero emission buses, including: High upfront costs Lack of local funding Complex procurement process However, there are also a number of opportunities for rural transit agencies to transition to zero emission buses, including: Federal funding programs Operational cost savings Reduced environmental impact Scott Bogren discussed a number of potential solutions to the challenges facing rural transit agencies, including: Increasing local funding Streamlining the procurement process Standardizing bus specifications Takeaways: The transition to zero emission buses is a complex challenge, but there are a number of opportunities for rural transit agencies to make the switch. Federal funding programs can help rural transit agencies offset the high upfront costs of zero emission buses. Operational cost savings can help rural transit agencies recoup the initial investment in zero emission buses. Reduced environmental impact is a major benefit of transitioning to zero emission buses. Topic: Workforce development and training gaps for battery electric buses Highlights: The transition to battery electric buses requires a new workforce with specialized skills. There is a lack of standardized training programs for battery electric bus maintenance and operations. Transit agencies need to work with community colleges and regional training centers to develop workforce development programs. The federal government is providing funding for workforce development, but more needs to be done to ensure that this funding is used effectively. Takeaways: The transition to battery electric buses is an opportunity to create new jobs and develop new skills. Transit agencies need to take a proactive approach to workforce development in order to ensure that they have the staff they need to operate battery electric buses. The federal government can play a role in supporting workforce development by providing funding and technical assistance. Here are some additional points that were discussed in the podcast: The lack of standardized training programs for battery electric bus maintenance and operations is a major challenge. This makes it difficult for transit agencies to find qualified workers and to ensure that their current staff is properly trained. Transit agencies need to work with community colleges and regional training centers to develop workforce development programs that meet the specific needs of their operations. These programs should include training on the following topics: The technical aspects of battery electric buses The safety procedures for working with battery electric buses The operational requirements of battery electric buses The federal government is providing funding for workforce development, but more needs to be done to ensure that this funding is used effectively. The federal government should provide technical assistance to transit agencies to help them develop and implement workforce development programs.
Houston Metro: Moving to Zero Emission is a Community Effort
Jun 13 2023
Houston Metro: Moving to Zero Emission is a Community Effort
Guest: Kim Williams, Chief Innovation Officer for Houston MetroHost: Jared Schnader, Bus Initiative Lead for CALSTARTTopics: Houston Metro's commitment to zero emission buses planning for both battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cellKim Williams' role is Chief Innovation OfficerHow Houston Metro evaluates emerging technologies The importance of knowledge sharing among transit agencies Show Notes: Houston Metro is committed to achieving zero emissions by 2050.Kim Williams is the Chief Innovation Officer for Houston Metro. In this role, she is responsible for exploring new technologies and strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Houston Metro.Williams believes in being "leading edge, not bleeding edge." She and her team evaluate emerging technologies by starting with the problem and then looking for solutions that have been tested and proven in other industries.Williams is a strong advocate for knowledge sharing. She regularly travels to conferences and events to share Houston Metro's experiences with other transit agencies.Houston Metro is a leader in the adoption of new technologies. For example, the agency has deployed a fleet of electric buses and is installing solar panels at its facilities.Williams is confident that Houston Metro can achieve its zero emissions goal. She is committed to making public transportation a more sustainable option for Houstonians.Houston Metro is evaluating battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell technologies by deploying both at the same time, which has created a number of challenges.Houston created a climate action plan called "EVolve". By tying this policy to Houston Metro's Climate Action Plan, it created a greater opportunity to getting a Low-No grant from the FTA.Williams also spoke about the equity concerns that can be addressed by zero-emission transit. While EVs are still relatively expensive, a person's first EV may be a Bus on their way to purchasing their own EV.There was also a discussion around planning for resiliency scenarios from the grid and also how buses can be utilized as power export. Quotes from the episode: "We want to be a leader in sustainability." - Kim Williams"We're always looking for new ways to use technology to improve the customer experience." - Kim Williams"Knowledge sharing is essential for transit agencies." - Kim Williams"We're confident that we can achieve our zero emissions goal." - Kim Williams Takeaways: Houston Metro is a leader in the adoption of new technologies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public transportation.The Chief Innovation Officer plays a critical role in evaluating emerging technologies and finding solutions that meet the needs of the agency and its riders.Knowledge sharing is essential for transit agencies to learn from each other and improve their operations.Public transportation can play a key role in reducing emissions and improving air quality.
The Evolving Role of DOTs in Zero-Emission Transit
Apr 27 2023
The Evolving Role of DOTs in Zero-Emission Transit
Some may see a Department of Transportation as a pass-through entity, but some DOTs have expanded their role in supporting their transit agencies, and it is paying off in unexpected ways. From organizing monthly technical meetings to being the go-to government state agency for zero-emission transition information, these DOTs have proven that supporting their state's transit transition comes with more benefits than just cleaner air. Michigan DOT's, Jean Ruestman, and Iowa DOT's, Travis Estep sit down and talk about how they are supporting their transit agencies and what they have learned. In this episode you will hear about how taking the lead as a state government agency has reduced silos within the state government, how DOTs address technilogical equity, and support an emerging workforce.  Jared Schnader, CALSTART's Bus Initiative Lead, guides the conversation with both DOTs. His expertise in moderating and speaking on panels, and leading technical projects as a Subject Matter Expert in scalable zero-emission bus deployments lends an additional expertise to the conversation. CALSTART, a non-profit consulting leader in zero-emission transportation technology planning and deployments, is bsaed in Pasadena, CA with offices across the US and Europe. With technical expertise in zero-emission Buses, Trucking, Off-Road, Agricultural, Innovative Mobility, Light-Duty vehicles, and supporting infrastructure, CALSTART also administers the nation's largest state incentive programs. Additionally, CALSTART is hosting a member recption at the ACT Expo in Anaheim, CA. For more registration details, simply click the following link: Member Reception Registration