Through its Sustainable Transit for a Healthy Planet initiative, the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has recognised the efforts of 10 transit agencies who are taking measures to address climate change.

The FTA’s Climate Challenge calls on transit agencies to develop strategies to reduce emissions, such as converting fleets to electric buses, making facilities more energy efficient, and generating power through renewable energy sources. The first-ever awardees from the FTA’s Climate Challenge were recognised on Earth Day for helping the US transition to a cleaner energy future.

AVTA was recognised for becoming the first transit agency to meet its goal for a 100% electric fleet
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said:

By helping people efficiently and affordably get where they need to go, public transit plays a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We’re delighted to honour these ten public transit agencies leading the charge to protect our communities against climate change.

The 10 awardees were chosen across eight categories:

  • Most Accomplished: Antelope Valley Transit Authority became the first agency in North America to operate a 100 percent electric fleet
  • Most Ambitious: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority set a goal that exceeded the president’s goals reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent
  • Most Collaborative: Iowa City Transit successfully leveraged state, local and private partnerships to advance its climate action strategies
  • Most Equitable: King County Metro in Seattle developed a plan focused on addressing climate change impacts and transportation access in underserved communities
  • Most Innovative: Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit used creative solutions to implement its climate action strategy
  • Most Transformative: Sound Transit in Seattle developed a plan demonstrating sustainability throughout the agency, including fleets, facilities and operations
  • First to the Finish: Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County in Houston was the first to submit its new climate action plan
  • Champions of the Challenge: Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Austin, Texas (large); Central Ohio Transit Authority, Columbus, Ohio (medium); and Rockford Mass Transit District, Rockford (small) developed plans that included achievable, ambitious strategies for reaching their greenhouse gas emission reduction goals
FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said:

Transit agencies across the country are greening their fleets, hardening critical infrastructure, and transitioning their workforces to reduce the disproportionate impacts of a warming climate on their communities. We know that transportation is responsible for more greenhouse gases than any other industry. Transit is one of the keys to changing that, addressing the climate crisis by taking cars off the road and electrifying vehicles nationwide. Through the Climate Challenge, FTA is working to make transit even greener.

The country’s work towards addressing climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector is set to continue, as funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help transit agencies to buy American-made zero-emission-at-the-tailpipe buses.


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