The FTA recognized the efforts of 10 transit agencies combating climate change through its Sustainable Transit for a Healthy Planet Initiative.
CapMetro won the large agency ‘Champion of the Challenge’ award. Transit agencies deemed Champions of the Challenge all developed a plan including the most achievable and ambitious strategies for reaching emission reduction goals.
Central Ohio Transit Authority won the medium agency ‘Champion of the Challenge’ award, while Rockford Mass Transit won the small agency award.
The FTA says greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector is the number one source of emissions in the U.S. economy. Low and no-emission transit is key to quickly ramping up efforts to address climate change.
"By helping people efficiently and affordably get where they need to go, public transit plays a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "We’re delighted to honor these ten public transit agencies leading the charge to protect our communities against climate change."
In the coming years, more transit agencies will be able to buy American-made zero-emission buses thanks to President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure law, says the FTA. These changes not only positively impact the environment, but also save money for transit agencies.
The awards FTA presented on Earth Day are part of the administration's Climate Challenge, which calls on transit agencies to develop strategies to reduce emissions. A total of 171 agencies across the country signed on to participate.
Awardees chosen on the 52nd Earth Day celebration include:
- Most Accomplished: Antelope Valley Transit Authority in Lancaster, California met its 100% electric fleet goal, the first agency to achieve this feat in North America
- Most Ambitious: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority set a goal that exceeded the President’s goals of a 50% reduction in GHG emissions
- 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 in Urbana, Illinois, demonstrated the use of 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, delivered on February 4.
- Champions of the Challenge: This award was bestowed on small, medium, and large transit agencies that developed plans that include achievable, ambitious strategies for reaching their GHG emission reduction goals:
"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," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. "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."