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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON, SCAQMD, LONG BEACH TRANSIT POWER ELECTRIC SHUTTLE BUS DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM

 LONG BEACH, Calif., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Edison, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and Long Beach Transit are jumpstarting the era of clean air transit in Long Beach with the inauguration of the Belmont Shore Electric Shuttle Bus. The bus will begin operation after opening ceremonies at 2 p.m. today at the Belmont Pier, 25 39th Place in Long Beach.
 The 22-passenger electric shuttle bus, manufactured in Downey, Calif., is one of two shuttle buses leased by Southern California Edison. Edison will loan the first shuttle to Long Beach Transit for a six-month demonstration period, and the utility will analyze the vehicle performance and user satisfaction data.
 "If we're going to solve our air quality problems in Southern California, we must begin at the grass-roots level," said Diane Wittenberg, manager of electric transportation for Southern California Edison. "This shuttle bus will give Long Beach residents a chance to compare current diesel-powered vehicles to energy- efficient, non-polluting electric vehicles, which are 97 percent cleaner, even counting power plant emissions."
 The free shuttle bus will run daily from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., on a route from Belmont Pier down Livingston Drive and Second Street to The Toledo, making a round every 20 minutes.
 Electric shuttle buses are currently used in several Southern California cities, including Santa Barbara, where the Metropolitan Transit District runs eight electric shuttle buses carrying up to 1,800 people on a busy summer day.
 Those statistics impress Long Beach Transit officials. "We welcome the opportunity to operate a technology such as an electric shuttle bus," said Larry Jackson, president and general manager of Long Beach Transit. "This allows us to learn more as a transit provider, especially in terms of how the riding public responds to it."
 Edison's electric shuttle vehicle project is funded by the SCAQMD through fees collected from vehicle registrations in Southern California. The agency's goal is to have electric vehicles account for 16 percent of the vehicle miles traveled in the region by the year 2010. For urban transit buses, the goal is 30 percent.
 "The electric shuttle bus is an excellent example of how motor vehicle registration fees are being used to help clean the air," said James M. Lents, executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
 "This type of shuttle service gets smog-forming cars off the road and eliminates the smelly diesel exhaust from conventional buses. What we have here is the wave of the future."
 Studies show convenient transit brings retail dollars into communities. The Belmont Shore businesses are already climbing aboard the shuttle bus bandwagon. "We've built our community around clean air and ocean breezes, and we want to show it off," said Frank Colonna, Belmont Shore Business Association president. "And what better way than with a clean, environmentally-friendly electric shuttle bus."
 Southern California Edison plans future electric shuttle vehicle demonstration projects at airports and other local and county agencies.
 -0- 12/18/92
 /CONTACT: Pat Fedorko of Southern California Edison, 818-302-2255/


CO: Southern California Edison; South Coast Air Quality Management
 District; Long Beach Transit ST: California IN: UTI SU:


JB -- LA006 -- 8151 12/18/92 11:00 EST
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Date:Dec 18, 1992
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