Los Angeles Electric Bus Maintenance Facility Master Plan and Feasibility Study

electric bus facility sketch

Los Angeles Electric Bus Maintenance Facility Master Plan and Feasibility Study

Transportation Plan to Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions  

In pursuit of lower greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner air, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation is aiming for an all-electric bus fleet by 2030. New technology in that fleet means a new maintenance facility is also needed.

HDR’s operations and maintenance facility experts were brought on in fall 2019 to lead a conceptual site plan and feasibility study for a new electric bus maintenance facility for LADOT.

Charrette Process to Actively Customize Facility Design

The proposed multilevel facility would replace the current South Los Angeles Bus Maintenance Facility, and HDR began by assessing the current site to get a better understanding of LADOT’s specific needs. The new facility needs to house 130 DASH and Commuter Express buses, as well as charging equipment, maintenance facilities, office space, etc., all on a 5.5 acre lot.

As part of a comprehensive team, HDR worked side-by-side with stakeholders during a charrette workshop to actively modify design components, seeking to best fit LADOT’s needs for today and be set up for success in the ever-changing climate of electric technology. The charrette process took place over three days, during which LADOT administrators and experts could come in and out of the planning sessions as their schedules and expertise dictated. Each day ended with a formal presentation to receive feedback and pivot on design if needed. The team took into consideration many scenarios, eventually proposing three different concepts that provide LADOT a range of options within their identified budget.

The master planning process included bus storage, parking, maintenance, best charging practices and equipment, office space and noise mitigation. An important aspect was efficiency and space use, finding the best way to organize operator offices, maintenance and storage within a contained site. A multilevel site proved to be the answer. HDR experts also identified substantial possible cost savings through the use of energy storage options that could access and store power during lower-demand times and offset the cost of charging vehicles during high-cost periods.

Quieter Buses, Happier Community

Converting to a better electric bus fleet not only makes strides to improve the environment but it will also improve the community on a daily basis. With an increased fleet of 130 buses, commuters can count on more reliable travel times and added routes, making more areas of the city accessible. In this case, more buses does not mean more noise, and better electric vehicles along with the design of the facility significantly reduce noise, making them more attractive to the surrounding neighborhood.

As part of a joint development, the planning also included concepts that allow for affordable housing atop the facility. The master plan included efforts to mitigate noise and to design a site that combined both functions but with separate entrances and operations.

We completed the study and design plan in January 2020.

electric bus facility sketch
Los Angeles Department of Transportation

Los Angeles, CA
United States