The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro) recently voted to purchase 295 40-foot compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, which will be fueled by renewable natural gas (RNG).
The contract, which includes an option for the purchase of 305 additional 40 foot CNG buses, aims to replace part of the municipality’s aging fleet and “signals a commitment” according to 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.
“We take our responsibility to both the environment and taxpayers very seriously,” said Cris Liban, L.A. Metro’s executive officer for environment and sustainability, in a statement. “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.”
L.A. Metro noted that it will vote on a similar purchase of buses at its board meeting next month, with its commissioners looking to purchase additional CNG and other alternative fuel vehicles as it continues to upgrade its fleet.
In addition to the purchase of these new buses, L.A. Metro will also begin retrofitting and replacing their buses with the new Cummins-Westport Low NOx (oxides of nitrogen) CNG engines that reduce smog-forming NOx and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are 90% lower than the Environmental Protection Agency (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,” noted Rob Neitzke, president of Cummins Westport, in a statement.
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.