Portland- TriMet is one step closer to transitioning away from diesel buses to a zero-emission fleet after a key vote on Wednesday morning. The TriMet Board of Directors voted to approve the “TriMet Non-Diesel Bus Plan,” which commits the agency to purchasing 80 electric buses over the next five years and puts in place a plan to transition to a zero-emission fleet and no longer have diesel buses on the road by 2040.
“Having the largest transit agency in the state commit to transitioning away from diesel buses to put us on the road to a zero-emission fleet is an exciting step for our health and our climate,” said Celeste Meiffren-Swango, State Director with Environment Oregon.
Last year alone, there were over 60 million transit trips taken on a TriMet bus to get people to work, school and play. Every single one was taken on a bus powered by diesel, a dirty, petroleum-based fossil fuel, with emissions that are bad for our air, health and climate.
A report released by Environment Oregon in May called, “Electric Buses: Clean Transportation for Healthier Neighborhoods and Cleaner Air,” shows that a full transition to electric buses from TriMet could avoid an average of 39,990 tons of climate-altering pollution each year -- the equivalent of taking 7,720 cars off the road.
“Major cities across the world have committed to protecting public health and the climate by transitioning to 100 percent all-electric buses,” added Meiffren-Swango. “It’s encouraging to see TriMet taking steps to do the same.”
But it’s not a done deal yet. Funding for the initial purchase of 80 buses over the first five years will be voted on by a TriMet Advisory Committee in a vote on Friday.
Environment Oregon is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.