In southern California, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is committed to undertaking all necessary steps to protect public health from air pollution. It’s Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) builds on a long history of support for natural gas vehicles by allocating USD 0.87 million from its Near Zero Engine Incentive Program to Santa Monica municipal bus operator Big Blue Bus.
Big Blue Bus will use the grant to partially fund the purchase of fifty-eight new Cummins-Westport 8.9L ISL G Near-Zero 0.02 NOx engines; the first mid-range engine in North America to receive emission certifications from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (ARB), that meet the 0.02 g/bhp-hr optional Near Zero NOx Emissions standards. The new engines will be installed over a period of 3 to 4 years, at a rate of 12 to 18 buses per year.
In June 2015, Big Blue Bus was awarded $5.9 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), to purchase nine new CNG buses. The recent procurement of both CNG buses and engines will help the agency reduce its current nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by over 90% in 2018.
“The funding provided by the FTA will strengthen BBB’s vigorous pursuit of sustainable and environmentally responsible practices, in virtually every facet of our operations,” said Ed King, Director of Transit Services for Big Blue Bus. “It will also enable us to make long-term investments in new technologies that ensure the efficiency of service to our customers and the future scalability of the agency.”
“Big Blue Bus’ steady procurement of low-emitting, alternatively-fueled vehicles is very much indicative of an ongoing, citywide commitment to sustainability, while providing a strong, affordable, reliable regional transit system. Their efforts continue to play a significant role in reducing the City’s carbon footprint, including its greenhouse gas emissions, while mitigating the adverse effects of climate change in our region,” said Santa Monica Mayor Tony Vazquez.
Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of almost 200 vehicles transporting more than 61,000 passengers daily across a 51-square mile service area. Nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to a cleaner environment, the entire fleet operates on alternative fuels, including renewable natural gas (RNG) a form of liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG/CNG), which reduces emissions by over 90 percent.
(Source: Big Blue Bus)
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