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Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas scheme

The Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme is an initiative by the Department for Transport (DfT) to decarbonise public transport by inviting Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) to bid for funding to subsidise the purchase of zero emission buses (ZEBs) and associated infrastructure.


City of York Council (CYC) submitted an expression of interest followed by a full business case in for the original scheme in 2022. The bid was successful and CYC have received £8.4 million of funding from the DfT, plus £10.2 million from First Bus York, which was used to deliver 44 new electric buses and associated charging equipment.

Successful LTAs were invited to apply for additional funding from the scheme later that year. CYC submitted an application to electrify all the remaining First Bus York operated routes and completely electrify their depot.

We were again successful in our bid. The depot and all First Bus York buses (53 ZEBRA funded, plus 33 existing) will be completely electric by early 2024. This will mean over half the buses in use in the York area will be zero emission, helping to improve air quality as well reduce carbon emissions.


In Autumn 2023 the ZEBRA2 scheme was launched with the same funding support as ZEBRA1, but a focus on rural areas.

CYC has submitted an application, this time partnering with Transdev. If successful, this will enable the full electrification of Transdev’s new Rawcliffe depot and all their City Sightseeing tour buses.