Sound Transit and Intercity Transit Recognized for Sustainability Leadership
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recently awarded Seattle-based Sound Transit and Olympia-based Intercity Transit the nation's first "Gold" signatory status level for their individual agency commitments to sustainability.
The APTA Sustainability Commitment award recognizes organizations in the public transportation industry for their work preserving the environment, reducing waste, modeling social responsibility and helping bolster economic vitality in the regions they serve. APTA has four levels of recognition: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. To reach each level, agencies must show that they are maintaining an effective environmental compliance program and making continuous sustainability improvements. The Gold status indicates the agencies are becoming highly efficient in their management of natural resources, including energy, air pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions and water.
"Intercity Transit's sustainability efforts extend to every area of the agency and are embraced by its employees and leadership alike," said Intercity Transit General Manager Mike Harbour. "Our work is about making the community a better place to live by providing a diversity of quality transportation services, implementing innovative programs, developing successful partnerships, and acting as a good public steward of the environment we all share."
"Sustainability is a major priority in everything we do," said Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl. "It extends to more than offering fast and convenient services that take cars off the road. This recognition by APTA reflects other efforts that span everything from reducing emissions from our vehicles to incorporating sustainability into our project blueprints to using less paper around the office."
The two transit systems are among a short list of transit agencies nationwide practicing or pursuing Environmental Management System certification under standard 14001 of the International Organization for Standardization, sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration.
"APTA applauds the work that Intercity Transit and Sound Transit have been doing to become more sustainable and recognizes them for the Gold Standard they are setting on sustainability for the transit industry," said APTA Vice President of Strategy Petra Mollet.
Québec Government Committed to Electrification of Public Transit
Québec Premier Jean Charest recently announced the launch of an electric bus project at the Nova Bus headquarters in St-Eustache. Québec is investing CA$30 million in an ambitious CA$73 million public-private partnership that plans to develop electric buses for the international transit market.
The non-profit organization Consortium Bus Électrique has been established to lead the 3-year project. The group plans to produce two different-sized electric bus models. CA$27 million has been earmarked for the design and manufacture of a 40-foot electric bus to be developed by Nova Bus, Bathium Canada, TM4, Giro, René Matériaux Composites and Précicad. The other CA$3 million will fund the design and manufacture of a 25-foot aluminum electric micro-bus that will be developed by Infodev, StyleTech and Structures CPI.
The government's 2011-2020 action plan concerning electric vehicles is focused on developing products for the electric vehicle industry so that Québec can become an important player in this new global market. The government is planning to invest $250 million in coming years to help deploy and promote the use of electric vehicles in the province.
Montebello Bus Lines Opens New CNG Fuel Station
Montebello Bus Lines celebrated the completion of a $2.4 million compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel facility. Montebello Bus Lines' fleet reflects the agency's dedication to reducing greenhouse emissions as well as its carbon footprint. Currently, Montebello has seven CNG-fueled buses, 45 hybrids (electric-gasoline) and 14 diesel buses which are scheduled to be replaced by CNG-fueled buses by 2014.