Transportation Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-6650

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING ZERO EMISSION BUSES.

Vote Date:

3/16/2009

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/11/2009

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Transportation

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill requires DOT to establish a fleet of zero emission buses using fuel cell technology manufactured in CT. If federal stimulus funds are available for such purchases, at least 10%of all new transit buses shall be zero emission buses by June 30, 2014. The busses would be assigned to areas that have taken into consideration transit district operations, refueling and fleet locations consistent with CT Fuel Cell Economic Development Plan.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Commissioner Joseph Marie, Department of Transportation: DOT is concerned about being able to implement the provisions of the bill. Current fuel cell buses cost over $2 million. DOT expects to replace 274 buses in the next five years and has $100 million budgeted for that purpose. Another concern is that there is no significant manufacturing capability that could produce anywhere near the amount of buses required in the bill. Also, there is no available fueling infrastructure in place.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Senator Gary D. LeBeau – Strongly Supports

This bill would help improve environmental performance, increase energy efficiency, reduce the impact of fossil fuels and enhance economic development also. Also the development of hydrogen technology provides jobs and economic benefits.

John Harrity, Director, Grow Jobs CT

With this bill, we can begin to make a real impact on improving air quality, making mass transit more appealing and moving away from fossil fuels. It will also support the growth of jobs in CT by stipulating that the fuel cell technology be manufactured principality in CT.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

NONE

Edwina H. Futtner

March 24, 2009