West Coast Center of Excellence in Zero Emission Technology

SunLine Transit Agency West Coast Center of Excellence in Zero Emission Technology

The West Coast Center of Excellence in Zero Emission Technology (CoEZET) is hosted by SunLine Transit Agency. SunLine has been the leader in alternative fuels technologies in the transit industry for some time. This has not gone unrecognized by SunLine’s funding partners and advocacy groups. This effort will be for workforce investments, outreach, knowledge capture, workshops, and staffing support for these efforts.. The goal of these effort share the commercialization of zero emissions technologies as well as exploring economic investments in the workforce.

Center of Excellence Training

Funded by the FTA, this center serves to bring education to transit agencies looking to establish or increase their zero-emission fleets and technologies. Instruction will cover topics that address in-service management of zero emissions technologies, which includes fueling systems and fleet operations. The center is also looking to assist with the reduction of unscheduled maintenance by demonstration of a shared resource software called SMART. CoEZET provides a place for focused training and instruction in conjunction with educational institutions and original equipment manufacturers. The Center has also been funded for a dedicated zero emissions maintenance facility which will be used to demonstrate many of the diagnostic tools necessary to maintain zero-emission fleets.  

California transit agencies are increasingly adding ZEBs to their fleets, partially due to incentives and regulations.  The State of California and Federal Government have incentivized the adoption of ZEBs by investing tens of millions of dollars annually.  As a result, ZEB costs have decreased and ZEB technologies have improved.  The California Air Resources Board, in turn, is developing a regulation that will require public transit agencies to purchase ZEBs due to the technology’s near-term viability.  The transit workforce must prepare today in order to service, maintain, and repair ZEBs that will become commonplace in fleets.

Establish a Center of Excellence to house investments in learning

  • For every investment in technology, there is investment in training and learning
    • Funding partners have already made substantial investments in the technology
  • The Center of Excellence will be a site to preserve and enhance those learning investments
    • Acquisition and in-service management
    • Leverages prior investments and prevents duplication in future technology projects
    • Is not limited to transit technology and can transcend other “spill over” applications
  • Is not limited to public agencies, but could attract light duty to heavy duty trucking
    • Training courses
    • Sales meetings, etc
  • Significant investments have been made and are planned
    • We need to educate our industry on procurement and team collaboration strategies
  • The Center of Excellence is a site where those investments can be preserved and disseminated.
    • Acquisition and in-service management
    • Prevents duplication of efforts
    • Is not limited to Hydrogen, but can be used for all other alternative and emerging energy technologies


SunLine Transit Agency is launching the Center of Excellence in Zero Emission Technology, a workforce training program focused on maintaining and operating zero emission buses in public fleets.  Since there are limited resources and curriculum available on zero emission bus (ZEB) technology, SunLine Transit Agency will work with its partners to develop comprehensive curriculum and resources that addresses all aspects of in-service management for ZEBs.

The Center of Excellence in Zero Emission Technology is a collaboration between public and private organizations, including transit agencies, colleges, private industry, and government agencies, that ensures the development of excellence in the maintenance of zero emission buses.  Currently, SunLine Transit Agency has partnered with College of the Desert, Rio Hondo College, California Community College-Doing What Matters, BAE Systems, Ballard Power Systems, BYD Coach and Bus, Hydrogenics, and Proterra to develop the Center of Excellence in Zero Emission Technology.  SunLine will be fostering additional partnerships with local economic development organizations, transit agencies, colleges, government agencies, workforce development groups, and industry to enhance the program’s effectiveness and reach

Future Course Offerings

Courses will be open for Transit Agency enrollment in Fall 2019.

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Leadership and Employee Relations
  • New leadership role with ZEB adoption
  • Establishing agency mission and policies to support ZEB fleet and expansion
  • Encouraging organizational cultural shift 
  • Developing staff ownership of ZEBs
Zero Emission Bus Overview
  • Introduction to ZEB technology
  • Differences between ZEBs and incumbent technologies 
  • ZEB demonstrations globally
  • Introduction to ZEB fueling 
  • ZEB and fueling vendors
  • Industry standards developed and in development
Zero Emission Bus Operations
  • Introduction to zero emission bus technology
  • Differences between ZEBs and incumbent technologies
  • Dashboard familiarization
  • ZEB fueling training 
  • Preventing roadcalls
Zero Emission Bus Maintenance
  • Introduction to ZEB technology
  • Differences between ZEBs and incumbent technologies 
  • Preventative maintenance practices for ZEBs
  • Unscheduled maintenance practices for ZEBs
  • General and high-voltage  safety training
  • Basic diagnostics and troubleshooting
Financial Management
  • ZEB grant management
  • ZEB total cost of ownership 
  • Funding opportunities 
  • ZEB budget development
Zero Emission Bus Procurement
  • Federal Transit Administration guidelines for ZEBs
  • American Public Transportation Association White Book: Zero Emission Technical Standards
  • Contract Options for ZEBs
Zero Emission Bus Policies and Regulations
  • Federal and state legislation for ZEBs and fuels
  • State regulations for ZEBs and fuels
  • Complying with state regulations for ZEBs and fuels
  • Federal Transit Administration policies and guidelines for ZEBs
Planning for ZEB Operation
  • Introduction to ZEB technology
  • Anticipating ZEB performance
  • Identifying appropriate routes
  • Scheduling operations and fueling