The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has voted this week to purchase 295 40-foot compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, which will be fueled by renewable natural gas (RNG). As reported by NGVAmerica, the contract includes an option for the purchase of 305 additional 40 foot CNG buses.
The buses will replace part of the ageing bus fleet and signals a commitment by the transit agency, already the largest natural gas bus fleet in the nation, to continue using natural gas to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Los Angeles County.
“Transit agencies around the nation continue to realize the benefits of renewable natural gas,” said Dr. Katheryn Clay, interim director of NGV America. “Diesel emissions continue to plague our environment, especially in cities like Los Angeles. But together, with the leadership from agencies like LA Metro, we can use natural gas powered vehicles to clean up the air and the environment in and around our communities today.”
“We take our responsibility to both the environment and taxpayers very seriously,” said Cris B. Liban, Metro Executive Officer for Environment and Sustainability. “By using renewable natural gas, as well as other technologies, we will continue to exceed our environmental goals and ensure we provide the best transportation service to our customers and region.”
LA Metro will vote on a similar purchase of buses at their board meeting next month. The commissioners will be looking at purchasing additional CNG and other alternative fuel vehicles to upgrade their fleet.
In addition to the purchase of these new buses, LA Metro will also begin retrofitting and replacing their buses with the new Cummins-Westport Low NOx CNG engines that reduce smog-forming NOx and GHG emissions that are 90% lower than the EPA NOx limit.
“This engine gives our customers the most affordable path to zero-equivalent emissions and the benefits of performance and reliability described by California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District as equivalent to an electric vehicle,” said Rob Neitzke, president of Cummins Westport.
Previously, LA Metro awarded a contract to Clean Energy Fuels Corp., a renewable natural gas (RNG) contract to fuel its fleet of transit buses. The deal calls for Clean Energy to provide Metro its Redeem™ brand of RNG, the first renewable and commercially available vehicle fuel made entirely from 100% organic waste.
Over the five-year period, the transition to RNG will reduce Metro’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over 520,000 metric tons over the use of regular natural gas and by almost 900,000 metric tons over the use of diesel. Redeem is derived from biogenic methane or biogas, which is methane that is naturally generated by the decomposition of organic waste. The methane gas is then processed, purified and sent into the interstate natural gas pipeline and transported to Clean Energy’s and its customers’ stations.