Sunday, May 1, 2016

TheSource: Board approves motion seeking plan for a zero-emission bus fleet for [LA] Metro

(Left) Mayor Eric Garcetti on the bus en route to the Metro Board meeting today chatting up another passenger. Photo: Office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Interesting stuff, especially given that Metro has about 2,200 buses. Metro has five electric buses but the rest of its 2,200-bus fleet is powered by compressed natural gas, known as CNG. The good news is CNG is significantly cleaner than diesel…but CNG is still a fossil fuel that produces greenhouse gas emissions.

Here’s the motion:
Motion by Directors Garcetti, Solis, Fasana and Dupont-Walker that the Board direct the CEO to:
A. Develop an initial outline for a comprehensive plan to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions by gradually transitioning to a zero-emission bus fleet;
B. Report which public transit agencies have deployed zero emission vehicle buses in the U.S.
C. Identify manufacturers that provide zero emission bus technology for large U.S. transit agencies.
D. Report that provides the following information for zero emission buses:
1. Greenhouse gases and air pollutant levels;
2. Noise levels (i.e. decibels) comparison between conventional Clean Natural Gas (“CNG”) and zero emission buses;
3. Production challenges and opportunities to partner with other agencies in large procurements to achieve economies scale discounts;
4. Chronological timeline of the advancements and forecasts in zero emission bus technologies;
E. Provide a report on all mile-range and run times for all current MTA bus routes.
F. Identify possible Federal, State and local funding sources that are eligible for the purchase of zero-emission bus vehicles.
G. For this new bus procurement of advanced transit buses, include the following:
1. Zero emission bus technology cost options for the base order and all other bus purchase options.
2. Increasing and maximizing seating capacity.
H. Report back on the above at the October 2016 MTA Board meeting and provide a semi-annual report thereafter on zero emission bus technology.


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