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DART News Release


Media Relations Contact:
Mantill Williams

July 25, 2013

Public Transportation Systems and Businesses to Be Recognized for their Sustainability Achievements

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced today that nine public transportation systems and businesses will be recognized for their outstanding sustainability achievements. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) is the first public transportation system in North America to receive Platinum recognition level in the APTA Sustainability Commitment program. Three public transit systems attaining Gold recognition level are Hampton Roads Transit (Hampton, VA), King County Metro Transit (Seattle, WA), and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (San Francisco, CA). Earlier this year, Visual Marking Systems (Twinsburg, OH) reached Gold recognition – the first public transportation business in North America to do so.

These organizations, along with Silver and Bronze recipients, will be honored on July 29 at the Sustainability and Public Transportation Workshop which is being held at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. CDM Smith (Cambridge, MA) will receive Silver level recognition at its headquarters. The three Bronze level recipients are Amtrak, Interurban Transit Partnership (Grand Rapids, MI), and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (Dallas, TX).

"Congratulations to these public transportation organizations for their outstanding leadership in the area of sustainability," said APTA Chair Flora Castillo. "They are leading the way in making public transportation -- which is already sustainable -- even more sustainable."

"The public transportation industry is an industry committed to sustainability," said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. "All the organizations that will be recognized are models for other public transportation organizations with reductions in energy, water, and waste. I look forward to presenting their certificates at the APTA Sustainability and Public Transportation Workshop on July 29 in San Francisco."

Started in 2009, 105 public transit agencies and businesses have participated in the APTA Sustainability Commitment program by implementing processes and actions that will lead to continuous improvement on environmental, social, and economic sustainability. There are different levels of recognition -– Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum -- that are determined by specific measured achievements. Only four other organizations have received Gold level recognition: Intercity Transit (Olympia, WA), Sound Transit (Seattle, WA), SEPTA (Philadelphia, PA), and Translink (Vancouver, BC).

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro):
L.A. Metro was a founding signatory of the Sustainability Commitment program in 2009 and has since put in place a full-scale sustainability program that has significantly reduced its environmental footprint. These gains led L.A. Metro to achieve Platinum-level recognition from APTA -- the highest level achievable -- for significant reductions in areas such as energy, water use, and waste.

In large part due to its conversion to a vehicle fleet powered 100 percent by clean fuels, LA Metro has achieved a 38 percent reduction in criteria air pollutants per passenger mile traveled (PMT), a 15 percent reduction in fuel use per PMT, and a 9 percent reduction greenhouse gas emissions per PMT from 2008-2011. Solid waste has seen a 30 percent reduction and water usage an 8 percent reduction. LA Metro has been recognized for many notable projects, including its implementation of an ISO 14001: 2004 certified environmental management system, and a green construction policy to reduce air emission from construction equipment and related activities.

Metro's sustainability program has saved more than $2 million per year and additional cost-savings are expected in the future.

Below are some of the sustainable accomplishments that this year's Gold level recipients achieved. Gold level is the second highest recognition that an organization can receive.

Hampton Roads Transit (HRT):
Hampton Roads Transit reduced air pollutant emissions by 58.8 percent and vehicle energy use by 9.7 percent per transit vehicle mile traveled from 2008-2011. During this period the agency procured multiple hybrid buses, and all while building and opening its first light rail line. HRT also expanded its internal recycling program, increasing the waste diversion rate from 27.3 percent (2008) to 94.1 percent (2011).

King County Metro Transit:
King County's replacement of diesel buses with fuel efficient hybrid buses has saved the equivalent of 2.1 million gallons of fuel since 2007. Metro hopes to convert its entire bus fleet with hybrids buses and trolleys by 2018. The agency also operates the largest public vanpool program in the nation and more recently added 20 zero-emission electric vehicles to its rideshare fleet.

Through process and technology improvements, King County has achieved a reduction of air pollutant emissions by 10 percent and a reduction in water use per unlinked trip by 35 percent in 2009-2011. From 2003-2011 King County achieved a 34 percent reduction in waste.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA):
SFMTA encourages and provides alternatives to the private automobile by operating the city's transit vehicles, regulating taxis, managing parking and traffic, and making bicycle and pedestrian improvements city-wide. Thanks to a comprehensive focus on mobility, unlinked passenger trips have increased by 6.8 percent from 2007-2012 while personal vehicle miles traveled have fallen by 2.7 percent from 2000-2010. The SFMTA operates the largest municipal biodiesel fleet in the country, displacing roughly one million gallons of diesel fuel annually, as well as the largest zero-emissions (trolley) bus fleet. As a result, from 1990-2010, the agency has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 23.2 percent per passenger mile traveled.

Visual Marking Systems (VMS):
In large part due to its focus on green production and procurement policies as a certified Sustainable Green Printing Partnership member, VMS has achieved a 15 percent reduction in electricity use per line item produced, a 15 percent reduction in water use per line item, and a 9 percent reduction greenhouse gas emissions per line item from 2010-2011. Solid waste has seen a 4 percent reduction per line item and additionally, VMS has instituted a recycling policy (no policy existed previously), saving nearly $75,000 in 2011 thanks to a new focus on reducing use of raw materials.

For more information on the Sustainability Commitment program, go to: (opens in a new window)

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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.

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