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Air Quality

Air quality is directly correlated to public health. Every effort we make in operations to minimize impacts to or improve air quality take us one step closer to creating a more sustainable LA.  The Motion Endorsing GHG Reduction Targets guides program prioritization and decision-making. Some air quality initiatives include:

  • Electric Vehicle Program:

    Metro is the first transit agency in the nation to integrate EV charging stations at its park-and-ride lots and the program is expanding. Metro is also moving its non-revenue fleet to electric vehicles .
  • Photovoltaic (PV) projects:

    Metro is committed to generating clean energy to build resilient energy systems. Current facilities with PV panels include SIX (6) bus and rail divisions and El Monte Station. Plans are in development for four (4) additional divisions.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Toxic Air Emissions Reduction:

Metro stakeholders track GHG and toxic air emissions, develop and implement innovative technologies, and ensure equipment compliance with existing regulations while generating carbon credits for future carbon market transactions.

Climate change:

Metro expects there to be more high heat days and more severe fires and storms in the future. These events will impact transportation if plans are not put in place now. The Climate Adaptation Action Plan (CAAP) and Resiliency Indicator Framework (2015) guide Metro’s work in mitigation, adaptation and resiliency. Both documents are being revised in 2019.

Air Quality – Performance outcomes and trends

Criteria Air Pollutant Emissions:

The criteria air pollutant emissions metric measures tailpipe emissions from Metro’s bus fleet and support vehicles. The major criteria air pollutants are hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM):


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Greenhouse Gas Emissions:

Metro’s greenhouse gas emissions, measured in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), have been steadily declining since 2007 when Metro performed its first emissions inventory. Much of the decrease can be attributed to declining energy emissions factors as the share of renewable energy on the grid increases.


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Total GHG emissions:

The largest source of emissions for the agency is vehicle fuel (75%). Accordingly, Metro’s bus service is the largest source of emissions by mode (65%).  Since 2012, emissions resulting from building energy use have decreased by 23%.


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Greenhouse Gas Displacement:

Perhaps the best sustainability indicator of an effective public transit system is greenhouse gas displacement. This occurs primarily through mode-shift or taking cars off the road. Metro consistently displaces more emissions than it produces.


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