LTD Board of Directors adopts climate action policy

June 22, 2020
The policy aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent over the next 10 years and eliminates the use of fossil fuels in 15 years.

Lane Transit District (LTD) has adopted a climate action policy following unanimous approval from its board of directors, with one member absent.

The policy provides a pathway for LTD to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 75 percent for its owned vehicle fleet over the next 10 years and eliminates the district’s use of fossil fuels in 15 years.

“LTD recognized climate change is an urgent matter for the public and private sectors," said Carl Yeh, president, LTD Board of Directors. “We adopted these significant climate change policy, goals and measurements because we wanted to take aggressive action with achievable results that will better the environment and increase the quality of life in the district.”

To develop its climate action policy, the LTD Board established an Ad Hoc Sustainability Committee to review a study of the district’s carbon footprint that determined the best opportunities for LTD to reduce GHG emissions is to focus on increasing ridership and reducing emissions from its fleet vehicles. Based on the findings from the study, the Ad Hoc Sustainability Committee drafted board-level guidance for fleet procurement and intergovernmental collaboration, recommending that the board adopt the following three measurable climate change goals.

  • Goal 1 – Short-term: 25 electric buses are to be under contract to replace 25 aging 40-foot fossil fuel and hybrid buses by 2023.
  • Goal 2 - Long-term: 100 percent fleet turnover and phase-out of fossil fuel vehicles by 2035 and 75 percent GHG emissions reduction by 2030.
  • Goal 3 – Other considerations: Deliberate exploration of emerging technology and fuels that improve reductions in GHG emissions; joint community GHG emission reduction goals with partner jurisdictions, including cities of Eugene and Springfield, Lane County and Lane Council of Governments, among others; and iterative process to review progress and goals annually.

Efforts to achieve these goals have already begun. In March, LTD ordered 11 New Flyer battery-electric buses. The first of the new electric buses are expected to arrive later this year, with the order filled by summer 2021. The 11 battery-electric buses are paid for with money from the Federal Transit Administration Low or No-Emission fund and LTD general funds.

“Replacing LTD’s aging diesel and diesel-hybrid fleet with zero tailpipe emission battery-electric buses will reduce GHG emissions in our communities while supporting the state of Oregon’s goal to reduce emissions statewide by 75 percent,” said Aurora Jackson, LTD’s general manager. “Low or no-emission buses and in collaboration with state, city and county governments offer important avenues for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, but the one thing we can all do today to support these goals is to make only essential trips using the bus or other forms of transportation other than a single passenger vehicle.”