Electrify Public Transportation: Policy Toolkit

Work with transit agencies and school districts, and explore partnerships with taxi, ride-hail, and micro-mobility companies to expand electric transportation options for your community.


4.1.  Electric buses in public transportation

Cities can work with transit agencies to transition their fleets to fully electric buses. Electric buses may have higher capital costs, but they also provide significant economic benefits because of reduced maintenance and fuel costs, especially in high-mileage use cases. Cities can work with local and regional transit agencies to secure electric bus grants through the Alt Fuels Colorado program, build-out electric bus charging infrastructure, and get commitments to full electrification.



Resources & Factsheets:

“The Chicago Transit Authority said that the estimated annual net savings in fuel costs for each electric bus is $25,000 or about $300,000 over the expected 12-year lifespan of each bus.”
— U.S. PIRG: Paying for Electric Buses Report (2018)


4.2. Electric taxi, Uber/Lyft targets

Cities can shape the transition to electric-shared mobility by engaging directly with Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) and partnering on pilot programs centered around EV adoption, charging, and innovative multi-modal first/last mile programs. Ride-hailing is also a great opportunity to educate riders on the benefits of electric vehicles.


“Our analysis suggests that in California, the emissions benefits of electrifying a vehicle in a TNC fleet are nearly three times greater than the benefits from electrifying a privately-owned vehicle.”
— UC-Davis report: "Emissions Benefits of Electric Vehicles in Uber and Lyft Services"


4.3.  Working with school districts on EVs, EVSE, and electric school buses

Cities and counties can engage with school districts to electrify school buses, provide staff EVs, and install EVSE in school parking lots and administrative facilities. School districts can apply for electric school bus funding through the Alt Fuels Colorado program, which includes $18 million and a $200k cap for electric school buses and shuttle buses in Colorado.




4.4.  Investment in electric rideshare charging hubs

Cities can engage in public-private partnerships and encourage TNC electrification by installing DC fastchargers at designated charging hubs. Access to highpowered and reliable charging reduces range anxiety for high-mileage TNC drivers while allowing TNC fleet managers to optimize fleet operations through coordinated charging. High-powered charging hubs can also be co-located with electric transit, school bus, and car-sharing chargers to maximize efficiency.


4.5.  Electric-autonomous vehicle incentives or requirements

City can requires or incentivizes all autonomous vehicles to be electric. Incentivize operators of shared-autonomous commercial fleets to deploy EVs. Programs will need to be carefully designed to avoid state or federal pre-emption.


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4.6.  Electric car-sharing program

A local government can host a community-wide EV car-sharing program for the community. Car-sharing programs should also offer one-way service options to provide greater transportation flexibility to customers. Additional car-sharing efforts should be focused on disadvantaged communities and affordable housing developments.


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4.7.  City plan for electric micro-mobility (eBikes, eScooters)

Cities can develop rules, regulations, and pilot programs for shared electric bikes and scooters. Cities can explore public-private partnerships with shared-electric mobility companies and evaluate the impact of innovative transportation technologies like “dockless” electric bikes and scooters. To streamline public-private partnerships and attract more innovative technology companies, Smart City programs in San Jose, Sacramento, and Boston have adopted “demonstration partnership policies”. Cities can collaborate with electric bike and scooter companies and explore options for public charging infrastructure for these smaller, electric-assisted vehicles.


“Micromobility could replace 48% of car trips in 10 US cities”
— INRIX 2019 micromobility study

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4.8. Support new and emerging transportation solutions with EVs and EVSE

Cities can collaborate with private transportation companies to encourage creative pilot programs that address local transportation goals. Such opportunities might include EV car-sharing programs, first-last mile commuting solutions, electric micro-transit, or on-demand electric shuttle.