Metro signs on to FTA sustainable transit climate challenge
Metro joins transit agencies nationwide to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the Federal Transit Administration’s Sustainable Transit for a Healthy Planet Challenge, Metro has pledged to develop a sustainability plan that details strategies to reduce carbon emissions, such as conversion to a zero-emission bus fleet, addressing climate resiliency and making stations and facilities more energy efficient.
The FTA’s climate challenge involves more than 170 transit agencies from across the country, including New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle and San Francisco. This month Metro submitted its climate action strategies as part of the challenge, detailing how Metro plans to help address the region’s climate challenges through sustainable transportation and solutions.
“Taking public transportation is one of the best ways for people to have the biggest impact on the environment. Whether you take the train or bus, that’s one less vehicle on the road,” said Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld. “In addition, Metro is using its purchasing power to increase the use of renewable electricity to power our trains and facilities.”
Metro’s 2020-2021 Sustainability Report highlights the successful programs and initiatives that are making an impact on the region and advancing climate equity policies, including:
- Released first-ever Climate Bonds to finance green infrastructure and climate resiliency projects.
- Released Zero-Emission Bus Plan to transition to zero-emission bus fleet by 2045.
- Traction power upgrades to support additional 8-car trains.
- Completion of nine LEED buildings in support of the board adopted LEED requirement.
- Bus facility upgrades including Bladensburg and Northern which are expected to meet LEED green building standards.
- Transitioning MetroAccess to hybrid vehicles and supporting equity through reduced noise pollution and emissions.
- New SmarTrip Sustainability Calculator, which delivers a personalized CO2 savings report based on a rider’s SmarTrip card number.
- New District of Columbia electric supply contract requires 50% of the electricity from renewables - equivalent to clean power for 25,000 families in DC annually.
- New 10-year strategic joint development plan to promote transit-oriented development.
In June, Metro’s Board of Directors also approved the adoption of Sustainability Vision and Principles and Zero-Emission Vehicle Goals. The resolution sets the direction and principles for sustainability at Metro through capital investments, operational planning, and regional engagement on climate initiatives.
Metro’s five-year Energy Action Plan also provides a roadmap for Metro’s sustainability efforts and cost savings and has already made an impact. The first solar canopy was installed at one of four Metro stations that will clean energy for homes and businesses in the region. generate clean energy for commercial and residential customers in the region. Lighting upgrades to more efficient LED lights at 48 underground stations have improved visibility while reducing energy costs. In addition, Metro launched new tools to actively monitor energy consumption and identify opportunities for cost savings.
As part of the FTA climate challenge, Metro will celebrate Earth Day on Friday as the FTA hosts a virtual Climate Challenge Earth Day Event to recognize transit agencies in support of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate equity goals.