Eliminating emissions from Los Angeles Metro buses is a goal being set by the Metro Board at a meeting this week. At Move LA, we are in support of a goal of achieving zero emissions for the bus fleet by 2030. However, the decision the Board makes isn’t just about the Metro fleet - it is a much bigger issue. Pollution from transit operators accounts for less than 1% of overall NOx emissions. The biggest producer of harmful NOx emissions—which causes smog and creates huge health problems for children, the elderly, and those with chronic diseases—are heavy-duty trucks.
Transit operators are a testing ground for durability, reliability, cost and other factors for the heavy-duty trucking industry. Our Executive Director Denny Zane is quoted in this Los Angeles Times article saying that Metro must think bigger picture by purchasing both electric buses as well as near-zero emission natural gas buses powered by Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). Transit fleets facilitate the deployment of clean advanced technologies in the much larger marketplace for heavy-duty trucks, which remain LA County’s biggest clean air challenge. The goal should be to "encourage the trucking and freight industry to make the same change.” That will only happen if truck operators believe that these zero and near-zero emissions engines and power systems are operationally ready. Metro can play a critical role in facilitating that change with their vote on Thursday.
Read the rest of the LA Times article on LA Metro’s plan for an emission-free fleet by 2030 and join us in October at our upcoming 9th Annual Conference as we discuss how we achieve emission-free fleet for all goods movements in the region.