LOS ANGELES, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Today, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) released a request for proposals (RFP) for up to 30 Super Low Emission Buses (SLEBs) and/or Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs) as part of a pilot program to evaluate burgeoning technologies for LA’s future bus fleet.

The program concept originated in the Office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who serves as Chair of the Metro Board of Directors and who views continuous technological innovation in our transit system as vital to the public health and economy of the City and County. The Mayor championed the program alongside County Supervisors and fellow board members Don Knabe and Michael Antonovich.

“We aren’t waiting for the State to tell us that LA should be looking into the next generation of buses,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “With this Zero Emission Bus pilot program we are beginning to lay the foundation for not only a healthier and more sustainable environment, but also tomorrow’s cleantech economy and the jobs it will create in Los Angeles.”

The pilot program will test emerging technologies such as electric, fuel cell, and next-generation hybrid and alternative-fueled propulsion systems as part of Metro’s regular fleet to evaluate the suitability for wider adoption in coming years. By putting these technologies into operation now, LA will begin to build a knowledge base, technical infrastructure, and a trained workforce to support wider adoption of such technologies in coming years.

Metro has been a national leader in the transition to compressed natural gas (CNG), with the largest fleet of CNG buses in the US and without a single diesel bus in their directly operated fleet since 2010. With this request for proposals, Metro is at the forefront of the transition to emerging technologies that offer the potential for super low or zero emissions. The pilot program puts Metro out in front of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which is scheduled to issue new guidance to transit operators later this year on the procurement of Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs) for public transit operators.

The pilot program will be funded by the Advanced Transit Vehicle Consortium (ATVC), a joint venture between Metro, the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Registered as a 501.C.3, ATVC has invested over $10 million in research and development projects involving new transit technologies that can reduce emissions, improve operating efficiencies or provide enhancements in the quality of Metro’s transit services.

Proposals to the RFP will be accepted until April 9, 2012. For more information on submitting a proposal, please contact Susan Dove, Senior Contract Administrator at (213) 922-7451. All current Metro solicitations can be found online at:

For general information on the pilot program, please contact Victor Ramirez, Director, Contract Administration at (213) 922-1059.