We’re Taking Action Today To Reduce Our Emissions

Dec 13, 2019

The time for climate action is now — and we must all step up to protect our planet.

Today, we’re announcing a number of actions we’re taking to reduce our agency’s — and our region’s — carbon footprint.

Our environment is our most valuable resource. These actions represent a substantial step towards preserving it for future generations.

100% Wind-Powered MAX

MAX will be 100% powered by renewable and clean wind energy starting February 1, 2020. Light rail is already one of the cleanest ways to travel — now it will be even cleaner.

A Bus Fleet That Only Uses Renewable Diesel

Until we finish converting our 700-strong (and growing) bus fleet to clean-energy powered vehicles, diesel fuel is a fact of life for our system. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be cleaner. By April 1, 2020, we will only use renewable diesel in our buses. We’re also working to transition our LIFT paratransit fleet to renewable diesel, too.

We expect the switch to renewable diesel will reduce bus emissions by 30% to 50%.

This is an important short-term action as we work to transition to a 100% zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040.

A 100% Electric Service Vehicle Fleet by 2030

Buses are not our only source of emissions — we have a fleet of 285 cars, trucks and vans used by field, maintenance, customer service and security staff. We will convert these vehicles to battery-electric power by 2030.

Battery-electric power is not a viable option for some of our heavy-duty construction vehicles, so we’re exploring how we can convert them to run on renewable diesel.

Supporting Free Fares for Youth Riders

Along with Mayor Wheeler, we’re urging Metro to include money for a Youth Pass Program in their planned November 2020 transportation bond measure (like with the Low Income Fare, we’d need financial support to help pay for these fares).

If funded, this would provide all riders 17 and under with free transit passes. We want transit to be second nature for anyone who grows up in the Portland area, and a Youth Pass Program will help ensure that.

This is part of our larger effort to make sure everyone can afford to use transit.

Conduct a Carbon Baseline Analysis and Pursue a Net Zero Carbon Strategy

The rides we provide play a big role in reducing our region’s carbon footprint. But that doesn’t mean our own operations can’t be cleaner.

We will conduct a top-to-bottom assessment of our carbon footprint to see where we’re at now. This includes measuring the impact of all the products we use, how we maintain our vehicles, our offices and more.

Once we understand how much we’re emitting, we’ll work to reduce and offset our carbon emissions. Our goal is to be “net-zero” and offset all the emissions we produce.

Apply a “Carbon Lens” to Our Decision Making

Carbon emissions should be a factor in our planning and purchasing. To make sure it is, we’re going to develop a “carbon lens” we can use apply to decision-making process.

This lens will also help guide who we hire for construction projects — we want our partners to be as focused on reducing our emissions as we are.

Testing for Carbon Emissions

Our buses travel more than 981 miles of region’s streets and highways, giving us a great opportunity to monitor air quality from neighborhood to neighborhood. We’re looking into putting CO2-sniffing sensors sniffers on buses to help the region better target emissions reduction efforts.

Please Join Us

Protecting our planet is a team effort — it’s about what we’re all doing. We encourage you to join us in taking action to reduce your own carbon emissions. Every action, no matter how small, makes a difference.

An easy place to start is by taking transit. Even one more trip each week will have an impact. Make a New Year’s resolution to join us in our commitment to a greener future.

Need help getting started? Go to trimet.org to learn more about planning a trip on TriMet or call 503-238-7433 (RIDE) — our Rider Support team is here for you.

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