A Center of Excellence is loosely defined as a “team, a shared facility, or an entity that provides leadership, best practices, research, support, and/or training for a focus area.” From information technology to the military, most genres have room for a type of competency or knowledge center. Now more than ever, the zero-emission bus industry relies on each other to provide key updates related to technology, utility structures, and lessons learned by transit agencies across the country.

As a non-profit, environmental advocacy organization, CTE is assisting with the advancement of two regionally distinct Centers of Excellence focused on different aspects of zero-emission bus workforce development.  In California, SunLine Transit Agency is building the West Coast Center of Excellence in Zero-Emission Technology (CoEZET).  While in Ohio, Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) is home of the Midwest Hydrogen Center of Excellence that will provide early outreach and education on fuel cell electric buses to Midwest and east coast operators. We will go in detail in a future post about the Midwest Center of Excellence, and the unique ways they support their region.

Here are three things ZEB industry leaders must know about the up-and-coming West Coast Center of Excellence at SunLine:

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1. Knowledge transfer will be by teaching others
The best way to learn how to improve is to learn from the best. A workforce training program focused on maintaining and operating zero-emission buses in public fleets in a classroom-style setting will be the way CoEZET will share their best practices to others.

2. Sunline won’t be running the show alone
Public and private organizations, including transit agencies, colleges, private industry, and government agencies, are collaborating with SunLine to develop training and resources for zero-emission buses. A suite of courses will be offered at various levels including Executive and Management, Operations, and Maintenance. SunLine held an information gathering Workshop in January 2018 to hone in on the most desired topics from transit agency stakeholders.

3. New infrastructure for a bold concept The agency is also building the first ever state-of-the-art facility designed exclusively for zero-emission bus maintenance, with learning facilities forCoEZET.The Center will host hands-on training classes and events that will educate transit authorities on both battery and fuel cell electric buses.




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