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Metro is building better transit by providing more ways for people to get where they are going, improving roadways to reduce the amount of time people spend in traffic and developing local streets that support healthy, safe neighborhoods.

Metro is committed to building sustainable, renewable and climate-safe infrastructure projects that protect human health and the environment while attending to efficient delivery of quality public transit services.

Building Sustainably

Metro integrates innovative sustainability strategies throughout project planning, design and construction to mitigate the negative impacts of our capital programs on the environment.

CALGreen Tier 2
Metro has updated its design criteria and building specifications to design and build all capital projects (buildings and stations) to the CALGreen Tier 2 Building Standards.

Building Commissioning
Metro’s facilities play a critical role in delivering safe and reliable transit services across LA County. Our building commissioning process ensures new facilities are equipped for this task by embedding sustainability and performance considerations into every phase of a project, from design through operations.

LEED Certification
Metro has committed to build all new buildings over 10,000 square feet to LEED Silver standard or higher and to incorporate applicable strategies from other rating systems like Envision where LEED is not applicable.

To date, the following Metro projects and facilities have achieved recognition as LEED Silver or better:

Facility Certification Level Year / Status
Division 14 (Award-winning, 2020) NC Gold 2017
Division 24 NC Silver 2016
Division 7 Campus (Award-winning, 2016) EBOM Silver 2015
Division 10 Campus (Award-winning, 2015) EBOM Silver 2014
Division 3 Maintenance Annex NC Gold 2010
Union Station Gateway EBOM Gold 2010
El Monte Station (Award-winning, 2016 & 2020) NC Gold 2009
Division 13 NC Gold 2009
Division 3 Maintenance Building NC Certified 2008
Division 9 Transportation Building NC Gold 2008
CMF Building 6 NC Gold 2007
Building 64 (Award-winning, 2020) NC Silver
Division 16 (Award-winning, 2020) NC Silver

The following projects are in the process of achieving LEED certification:

Facility Certification Level Year / Status
Emergency Security Operations Center (ESOC) NC TBD In design
Airport Metro Connetor 96 th Street Station NC Silver In design
Willowbrook / Rosa Parks Station – Security hub NC TBD 2020 – under construction
Willowbrook / Rosa Parks Station – Bike hub NC TBD 2020 – under construction

Envision: Expo Line, Section II (award-winning, 2018, 2020) and Purple Line Extension, Section 1 are the first Metro projects to achieve Envision certification. With the focus on planning and process from the design stage through operations and maintenance, there is much in this system that helps Metro consider the best sustainability practices throughout the life of our projects. Learn more about Envision and take classes offered here at Metro.

Green Construction Equipment Initiative
Metro is committed to using greener, less polluting construction equipment and vehicles, and will implement best practices to reduce harmful emissions in all construction projects performed on Metro properties and rights-of-way. Data collected through this program are reported to the Metro Board annually. This site has information on the GCP Program, requirements for Metro contractors and resources including fact sheets, guides and associated links.

Metro's Environmental Construction Awareness (MECA) Project
In 2018, ECSD launched a new website of resources and information to assist SBE/DBE contractors in developing robust project proposals that meet environmental requirements and expectations. MECA ensures that contractors understand the importance of sustainability from project design through construction.

Other Noteworthy Projects

While many projects are large and take many years to complete, Metro also has smaller projects aimed to improve the ridership experience, strengthening connection to other modes of transit throughout the area.

Cesar E Chavez Ave Bus Stop Improvement Project
This project, located at the intersection of Cesar E Chavez Avenue and Vignes Streets will not only generate its own power, but provide additional energy back to the Gateway campus. Much more than a bus stop, the pavilion is equipped for solar panels to power the site while providing shade, enhanced lighting for increase visibility at night and project real-time and static transit information. Other amenities include a bike share kiosk, new drought-tolerant landscaping and rainwater catchment.

Lankershim Depot (Award-winning, 2018)
In 2014, Metro fully restored the Lankershim Depot. Originally built in the 1890s, Lankershim Depot connected the region's agricultural industry to the ports. In 1911, the Pacific Electric Red Car line opened at the station and operated until 1952. It's the valley's oldest unmodified railroad structure. In 2018, the plaza was re-landscaped to reflect the concept of sustainable development through the use of low water usage and highly efficient irrigation systems. Plantings were specifically chosen to thrive in drought conditions. This is part of an extensive water conservation effort throughout the Metro G Line (Orange) corridor, converting the irrigation systems from potable water to a recycled water source.

Minimizing Construction Impacts

ECSD provides site remediation support and monitoring during construction for Metro-owned properties. Some projects are particularly unique or challenging:

Vibration Monitoring
With over 40 historic buildings along the Purple (D Line) Extension and 14 adjacent to the Regional Connector, special measures are taken to monitor and protect structural integrity due to construction vibrations.

Bee Relocation
Metro has moved six hives and more than a quarter-million bees from its properties. Rescued bees are observed for temperament, then relocated following strict guidelines. Metro is happy to do our part to protect our local bee population .

Plant Removal
As part of Metro's waste diversion priority, plants removed during construction are either moved and planted until they can be returned as part of new landscaping or are donated to community destinations following all regulations.

Guiding Our Decision Making

The following documents guide the development of sustainable building practices on Metro projects:

Moving Beyond Sustainability (2020)
This 10-year master plan sets forth goals, targets, strategies and actions related to the building of new Metro infrastructure based on the principles found in our framework's policy documents.

Environmental Policy
In 2009, Metro established an on-going commitment to provide multi-modal public transit services that greatly improve the quality of the environment in the communities it serves; and its commitment to planning and constructing projects, operating and maintaining facilities and vehicles and procuring products and services in a manner that protects human health and the environment.

Green Construction Policy
In 2011, Metro provided requirements for 1) identifying and mitigating air emission impacts on human health, environment and climate of on-road and off-road construction equipment and generators used in our construction and development activities; 2) implementing appropriate Best Management Practices (BMPs) to complement equipment mitigations; and 3) implementing strategies to ensure compliance with this policy.

Environmental Liabilities Assessment and Reporting Program
In 2009, this policy established a coordinated and integrated framework for determining Metro’s known and potential environmental liabilities. The reporting protocol under this program ensures Metro’s continued compliance with financial reporting standards, reduces current environmental liabilities and reduces the probability of similar liabilities occurring in the future.

Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling and Reuse Policy
In 2007, Metro committed to implement consistent criteria and procedures on the use of recyclable and recycled products and materials on capital projects.

Renewable Diesel
Starting in 2018, Metro began requiring the use of renewable diesel – a cleaner and more sustainable fuel – on all capital construction projects.

Contractor's Sustainability Plan Guidance Manual
In 2018, ECSD created a new reference document to assist contractors in documenting how they are fulfilling their compliance obligations associated with CalGreen. The Sustainability Plan program also collects evidence to highlight areas where contractors bringing the best innovative, sustainable practices to Metro projects.

Preserving and Protecting the Past

While Metro builds the next LA, we also believe in conserving and preserving the past and LA’s unique natural ecosystem. ECSD takes a leading role in preserving the natural, historical and cultural artifacts found during construction and infrastructure development.

Protection of cultural and historical resources

When an artifact is discovered during construction, the environmental lead ensures the right experts are on-site to properly handle, document, remove, research and preserve finds.  Those of significance are then given to the appropriate local museum or agency to be included in collections, many of which are later put on display and used for research.

In December 2016, a three-foot segment of tusk was uncovered along Purple Line Extension, Section 1. Just a few days later, an elephant skull was uncovered. In each case, Metro’s archeo-paleo team was called, excavation work was diverted to another part of the work site and the finds were properly recovered for preservation and restoration.

For more information on this and how Metro works with paleontologists, watch this video or visit Metro's capital project pages.

Maintaining natural processes

Tar still flows under LA. In the process of building rail tunnels, this tar has to go somewhere. ECSD works with other Metro departments to maintain natural processes of the region, creating new technologies and specialized equipment to improve systems for community safety.

Featured Projects and Programs

Resources and Tools

Metro has developed resources and tools to provide our contracting community technical assistance and training on our building program requirements.