TransLink and FortisBC signed a 5-year contract for the supply of up to 500,000 gigajoules (GJs) of renewable natural gas annually to TransLink’s bus fleet. This is expected to provide enough to fuel the existing natural gas bus fleet with 100% biomethane. Over the 5-year period, the transition to biomethane will reduce TransLink’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50,000 tons – equivalent to taking 10,000 cars off the road for one year. TransLink is now the first public transportation authority in Canada to use this renewable, carbon-neutral fuel to help fuel its natural gas buses.
The decision to use biomethane is a positive step for TransLink towards its goal of using 100% renewable energy by 2050. “Investing in transit is essential for our region and the environmental benefits of doing so can’t be understated,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “Using renewable natural gas moves us towards meeting our environmental goals and reduces our reliance on fossil fuels. It’s partnerships like this that help create a more livable and sustainable region today and into the future.”
“TransLink is a model for transit authorities and fleet operators across the province for making the switch to low-carbon fuels,” said Douglas Stout, vice-president, market development and external relations, FortisBC. “CNG vehicles, which make up roughly a fifth of TransLink’s bus fleet, have close to 21% fewer emissions with a 50% reduction in fuel costs versus diesel. Biomethane could offer the same savings while further reducing emissions by an additional 80% versus CNG.”
Using natural gas as a transportation fuel is an important step to help B.C. move to a low-carbon future. “Our government’s CleanBC strategy will significantly reduce carbon pollution over the next 10 years, and TransLink is a partner in helping us achieve that goal,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and responsible for TransLink. “Transitioning from conventional natural gas to renewable natural gas in TransLink’s bus fleet keeps Metro Vancouver moving while helping BC move along its path towards a cleaner, better future for everyone.”