Anaheim Transportation Network powers up a new electric fleet 

Crissy Ditmore is dressed as Evelyn Bobbi Trout.
Crissy Ditmore poses dressed as early aviator Evelyn Bobbi Trout. Anaheim’s new electric fleet of on-demand transit service vehicles known as EVE (Everyone Ventures Everywhere), is named after her.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

On April 22, Earth Day, the Anaheim Transportation Network inched closer to its goal of becoming a 100% zero-emission service by unveiling a new electric fleet of on-demand transit vehicles at the Anaheim Family YMCA Community Complex. Known as EVE, an acronym for Everyone Ventures Everywhere, the electric vehicles will travel between the Anaheim region and John Wayne Airport.

“The goal is make sure that our economic development can occur, but our neighborhoods are preserved,” said Diana Kotler, chief executive officer of Anaheim Transportation Network.

The 10-passenger transit service vans are named for former Anaheim resident Evelyn Bobbi Trout, an American aviator who broke the women’s endurance flying record in 1929.

“She was one of the early, early female pilots at a time when there were no female pilots,” said Anaheim council member and local historian Stephen J. Faessel, “and she called Anaheim her home.”

In 1930, Trout earned her transport license, which allowed her to fly for hire. She reportedly flew a plane full of Mickey Mouse dolls for Walt Disney himself.

The vehicles joins existing vehicles fleets FRAN and ART, already operating in Anaheim as part of ATN’s #ElectrifyAnaheim initiative. ATN’s plan calls for 100% fleet electrification by 2026.

“We have a family of services,” Kotler said. “We have ART, which is our traditional fixed route public transit system. We have FRAN, a micro transit service that is specific to CtrCity Anaheim and the colony district.”

ART, or Anaheim Regional Transportation, is a system of 19 interchangeable public routes in Orange County. Like EVE, FRAN is an acronym and the name of a historically prominent Anaheim woman.

FRAN is part of the Anaheim Transportation Network's electric fleet of vehicles.
The Anaheim Transportation Network unveils a new electric fleet of on-demand transit service vehicles, including the Free Ride Around the Neighborhood, or FRAN, on Friday, April 21.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“In fact, all of ATN’s products are tied to interesting people in the history of Anaheim,” said Faessel, who has published four works on the history of the city and is a founding member of the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center.

FRAN stands for Free Rides Around the Neighborhood and is named for Francisca Avila-Rimpau, who Kotler said was the mother of Anaheim’s public library system.

“She was also the first marriage for the state of California,” Kotler said.

Avila-Rimpau raised 15 children, and all of the FRAN vehicles are named for her daughters and granddaughters. FRAN, which launched in 2019, is free to use, and rides can be requested using the A-Way WeGo app or by hailing in-person. Rides for EVE can also be scheduled with A-Way WeGo, or reservations can be made by phone.

Anaheim Transportation Network was created as an air-quality mitigation measure, Kotler said, and the family of electric vehicles is one way ATN is working to meet that goal.

“By creating a fleet of zero emission vehicles, we insure that we comply with all the air-quality standards,” Kotler said.

The vehicles also cut back on the need for Anaheim’s many hotels and resorts to run their own diesel buses that used to inundate the city.

“There was literally a plethora of diesel buses,” said Kotler. “By creating this system, we can ensure that the resorts can develop and grow, without the negative impacts.”

On-demand transit service vehicles parked in Anaheim.
The Anaheim Transportation Network has unveiled an electric fleet of on-demand transit service vehicles.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The Anaheim Transportation Network provides public transit service to 10 million passengers each year in Anaheim, parts of Buena Park, Garden Grove and Orange and is determined to reach full electrification of its fleet ahead of the 2028 Olympic Games, which the city will co-host.

“We are 65% there,” Kotler said. “We received funding from the state of California to electrify to 100% level, so that will be done by the end of 2026.”