Jump to Route
Select a route and go directly to the Map & Schedule

Sustainability Shapes MST Efforts

MST prioritized environmental, fiscal and operational sustainability in 2021, staying committed to equitable, innovative service despite decreased ridership and the pandemic’s lingering economic challenges.


This summer, MST converted its heavy-duty fleet to 100% renewable diesel – a fuel made from natural fats, vegetable oils and greases. The agency will also update its gas-powered mini buses as suitable technologies reach the market. Renewable diesel features a similar production process and chemical makeup as petroleum, but the hydrogenated formula burns more cleanly. It does not impact vehicle performance, and it requires no modifications to existing equipment. Moving MST’s heavy-duty buses from fossil fuels to renewable diesel will decrease carbon emissions and improve air quality.

MST added two 40-foot coaches to its zero-emission fleet, joining two 30-foot buses and an electric trolley. The agency’s Board also approved a zero-emission bus plan well ahead of a 2023 California Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) deadline. ICT regulations require transit operators to transition to zero-emission technologies by 2040 with purchases phasing in each year starting 2026 for MST.


Three federal relief programs supported MST’s 2021 work. Funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) helped bridge budget gaps and boost the agency’s long-term financial strength.

Though these federal dollars were one-time awards, they replaced lost revenue and funded key services at a critical time. MST continues to manage a 50% drop in ridership sparked by pandemic shutdowns and economic challenges.


MST is positioning itself for future success with three major projects:

Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA). By restructuring routes for the first time in decades, MST can better direct transit resources to areas of high demand and greater social need. Board members will review network plans inspired by a 12-month COA in early 2022. (Learn more)

South County Operations and Maintenance Facility. MST’s new King City facility helps the agency more equitably serve fast-growing communities in Monterey’s South County, while further lightening public transit’s environmental footprint. (Learn more)

SURF! Busway and Bus Rapid Transit Project. The proposed SURF! line, a bus-only route between Marina and Sand City/Seaside, would curb pollution and cut commute times by easing traffic congestion. MST plans to run zero-emission buses on the transit lines using the six-mile busway. (Learn more)

Renewable electricity fuels MST’s zero-emission fleet. Over a typical 12-year lifespan, each vehicle will:

  • Eliminate 3,390 tons of CO2 emissions
  • Eliminate 20 tons of NO2
  • Eliminate 700 pounds of diesel particulate matter
“MST has always worked to reduce its carbon footprint. We’ve tested battery-electric hybrid buses. We introduced California’s first zero-emission, wireless power transfer trolley. We also adopted renewable diesel, not because of a mandate, but as something we simply wanted to do. It’s a little more expensive, but it absolutely brings positive impacts to our community.”
– Norm Tuitavuki, MST Chief Operating Officer