Metrolink is First Passenger Rail Agency in the Nation Powered by Renewable Fuel
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Los Angeles – Today, Metrolink publicly shared its switch to renewable fuel, making the agency the first in the nation to completely power all its locomotives by the cleaner burning alternative.
“It’s a proud achievement to be the first rail agency in the nation to use renewable fuel to move people around southern California,” Metrolink Board Chair Ara Najarian said. “We are committed to continue working toward better air quality in our region and lessening our effect on climate change for the planet.”
To meet its aggressive climate targets, Metrolink launched a pilot program of renewable fuel in its locomotives in early 2021. The renewable product is made of recycled natural fats and vegetable oils. It contains no petroleum fossil fuels and thus burns cleaner reducing harmful pollutants and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide by up to 80 percent.
“This transition by Metrolink to using renewable fuel will help further reduce the air pollutants from our locomotives and improve the air quality for all the communities along our 538 miles of track,” said Metrolink Board Vice Chair Larry McCallon, who is also a member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District's Governing Board. “It is certainly the right thing that we needed to do for the health of our children and our quality of life.”
Metrolink began powering 100 percent of all its locomotives with renewable fuel in February.
Metrolink shares this cleaner emissions milestone, as it continues to pursue zero-emissions technologies of hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric and regards renewable fuel as a bridge to zero-emissions. By reducing locomotive emissions, Metrolink is easing environmental impacts on climate change and improving air quality for all.
Press conference speaker quotes:
Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) -- “The example that Metrolink is setting for the country shows that California is still a leader in so many respects,” said Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34). “Progress is cumulative, it builds on the next advancement, the next stop, and I know this stop is not the last, but the next one in a cleaner, more equitable future for everyone.”
Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) -- “With the passage of SB1 and new allocations from our Cap-and-Trade revenues, we are now starting to see those funds channeled to Metrolink and to other transit operators,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale). “The antidote to soaring gas prices and to the havoc that fossil fuels are reeking on our environment and on global politics is public transportation, and especially public transportation that moves to renewable fuel sources. We can’t overstate the importance of what Metrolink is doing.”
Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle -- “Metrolink is committed to protecting the environment, embracing social responsibility and creating economic vitality for our region,” Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle said. “Our board-approved Climate Action Plan paved the way to this moment, and it is the first step toward our zero-emissions future.”
Caltrans District 7 Director Tony Tavares -- “I applaud Metrolink for advancing the goals outlined by Governor Newsom, the California State Transportation Agency, the California Air Resources Board and all of us here today accelerating our deployment of clean technologies,” Caltrans District 7 Director Tony Tavares said. “The key here today is renewable and 100 percent renewable is what Metrolink is doing. This will help all of us breath better.”
Videos of press conference interviews here
Metrolink “B” roll is here
Photos of press conference here
About Metrolink (metrolinktrains.com)
Metrolink is southern California's regional passenger rail service providing reliable, safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation that connects people, communities and businesses to greater opportunity. The Agency’s 538 miles of track and 62 stations across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties serve as an essential link in the region’s mobility network, enabling people to connect to their jobs and explore all that the region has to offer. Prior to the pandemic, Metrolink had nearly 12 million annual boardings from people who choose to ride the train to avoid gridlock, removing an estimated 9.3 million vehicles from the roads and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 130,000 metric tons each year with its fleet of Tier 4 locomotives.