RTD - Embracing Hybrid Technology

RTD has been proactive in adopting technology that improves the quality of our community. It is because of RTD’s ongoing commitment to our region and its unique environment that RTD is replacing its current fleet with hybrid buses.
Hybrid technology uses less fuel and significantly minimizes air emissions, which in turn reduces the environmental impact to our land and water.


  • On October 8, 2004, the San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) rolled out the first two low-emission hybrid buses in the state of California.
  • On August 2, 2006, RTD celebrated the rollout of its newest 40-foot hybrid buses, branded especially for Metro Express service. These were the first to be delivered to a hybrid bus consortium of 11 transit agencies, spearheaded by RTD, to boost purchasing power and reduce per-vehicle costs through mass ordering.
  • In September 2006, RTD began using new 40-foot hybrid buses in regular service.
  • In 2007, RTD introduced into service new, shorter, hybrid buses.
  • By 2010, RTD had 37 diesel-electric hybrid buses in operation, with plans to grow its fleet as new service would require.
  • In 2013, RTD will complete the conversion of 100% of its Stockton Metropolitan Area fleet to diesel-electric hybrid buses
  • On May 20, 2013, RTD launched its first two all-electric Proterra buses, which represent the next evolution in clean, quiet, and economical transportation technology.

RTD: Environmental Partner

Environmentally speaking, hybrids provide two major benefits: low emissions and reduced fuel consumption. To begin with, the hybrid buses produce significantly lower emissions due, in part, to the smaller diesel engine used to power them:

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) is reduced up to 90%
  • Hydrocarbons (HC) are reduced up to 90%
  • Particulate Matter (PM) is reduced up to 90%
  • Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) are reduced up to 90%

The San Joaquin County community has long recognized RTD for its corporate responsibility to the environment. RTD has received many environmental awards: three from TOPPS (Targeted Opportunities to Prevent Pollution in San Joaquin County), including their ‘P3-Premier Pollution Preventer’ Award. In 2005, the San Joaquin Council of Governments recognized RTD with one of its Regional Excellence Awards for its first two hybrid buses.

Bus Rapid Transit Express

In January 2007, RTD began using hybrid buses for Stockton’s Bus Rapid Transit service, “BRT Express.” This service was developed jointly with the City of Stockton.

Bus Rapid Transit is similar to light rail service in terms of frequency and convenience, but retains the flexibility of bus service while avoiding the costly infrastructure of rail. RTD’s Bus Rapid Transit service operates on El Dorado and Center Streets and Pacific Avenue, connecting the Downtown Transit Center and Hammer Lane.

To distinguish the new buses, RTD created a branding scheme that complements the buses’ design features, created to RTD’s specifications. Among the features, riders can enjoy are: wider doors, lower floors, and wheelchair ramps instead of lifts for quicker boarding; and quieter rides as a result of the hybrid drivetrain and regenerative braking.

Click HERE for more information on this exciting service from RTD!

An eye-catching design popularly known as “the flower bus” was created to distinguish the new hybrid buses.