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Don't Miss This Bus: Metro to Retire Last Diesel Bus in Fleet

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A 1992 TMC RTS runs on eastbound Line 20 along Wilshire Boulevard, February 2008. (Photo by LA Wad via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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The next time you're waiting for a Metro bus, take a deep breath, and know that we will soon have an all clean-air vehicle fleet of buses. On Wednesday, Metro will ceremoniously haul off and "retire" the last diesel bus in their fleet, which now contains 2,221 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, six gasoline-electric hybrid buses and one electric bus.

Metro has had a clean-air vehicle plan in place since 1993, when the agency "was considering the purchase of 245 diesel buses as part of a 300-vehicle procurement using $89.3 million in authorized local and federal funds," according to a 2004 Metro release. However, at the time, "with the feedback of environmental organizations such as SCAQMD and others, Metro developed an alternate procurement plan calling for the purchase of AFV-only buses. The new plan also required that all future Metro Bus purchases be alternatively fueled as well."

Metro's fleet, when compared with the now-outmoded diesel buses, "reduces cancer-causing particulate matter by more than 80 percent," Metro boasts in a news release issued today. "And because of the switch from diesel to CNG, Metro avoids emitting nearly 300,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per day."

The last diesel bus in Metro’s fleet will be “unceremoniously” towed away. There will be a new CNG bus with the engine compartment open for viewing. Event will take place in major central bus maintenance facility with lots of activity including robots that bring parts to mechanics.

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