Los Angeles public transit agency held a media event yesterday at its Central Maintenance Facility, which features 6,720 individual solar panels on its roof capable of powering 1,000 homes at any time, to demonstrate the amount of greenhouse gases reduced when a person takes public transit instead of driving as well as to announce initiatives related to the greener energies that drive Metro’s fleet.
The Earth Day event marked the first appearance of one of Metro’s new electric buses. The 40-foot all-electric zero-emission vehicle was the first of five manufactured by BYD Inc. for Metro as part of a pilot program to test prototype buses. The buses will soon be placed into revenue service as part of their testing and evaluation and, based on their performance, there is an option to purchase 20 more. Metro is also the first public transportation agency that has directly incorporated electric vehicle charging stations as part of the transit system.
Moreover, Metro officials highlighted the agency’s upcoming biomethane fuel program. Once implemented, Metro will only purchase its natural gas from biomethane producing facilities. Biomethane is produced by capturing gas from landfills, dairies, and wastewater treatment plants. Producing biomethane generates fewer greenhouse gases than traditional drilling for gas. Metro’s current bus fleet is entirely powered by CNG.
“In addition to the largest all clean-burning natural gas fleet in North America – 97% cleaner than the diesel buses they replaced – Metro has added all-electric, zero-emission that will reduce carbon monoxide, greenhouse gases as well as operating costs,” said Supervisor and Metro Board Member Michael D. Antonovich, who is also on the board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).
“Metro’s ongoing investments in cleantech ensure we’re prepared for the future as our system continues to expand,” said Metro Interim Deputy CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “To serve such a vast area as L.A. County takes a great amount of resources, but we recognize our responsibility to conserve energy, reduce waste and make transportation more sustainable.”
Source: LA Metro