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Planning for a Sustainable Future

Metro is transforming LA County through a regional commitment to environmental sustainably and climate-safe infrastructure. Metro infrastructure and assets are planned and designed with changes to climate and stewardship of natural resources in mind.

Planning for sustainability includes coordination and support between the environmental, planning and engineering departments through many phases of project development including processes related to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), resulting in project-specific Environmental Impact Reports (EIR), Environmental Impact Studies (EIS) and exceptions to these requirements. For access to these and related documents, contact the Metro Library .


Sustainability is at the heart of Metro culture. Beginning with the adoption of the Energy and Sustainability Policy in 2007, Metro has set a steady course to reduce our environmental impact on air, land and water while reducing operational costs by monetizing environmental benefits. The following policies have been pivotal to creating a framework for Metro plans, programs and initiatives.

Countywide Sustainability Planning Policy
In 2012, Metro policy demonstrates a continued commitment to sustainability as a core business value and as a strategy for enhancing the quality, efficiency and value of the transportation system through integration of sustainability in planning functions, and development of partnerships.

Energy and Sustainability Policy
In 2007, Metro established policy to control energy consumption and embrace energy efficiency, energy conservation and sustainability.

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. This policy provides guidance in committing to the use of the ISO 14001:2004 standard as a sustainability management tool.

Renewable Energy Policy
In 2011, Metro policy established 33% of facility-wide energy use would be powered by renewable energy by 2020. This policy has driven action and as of 2017 Metro reached 30% of its goal. Most of Metro’s new major facilities are designed to include solar generation including the El Monte Transit Terminal (89kW), Division 13 (271 kW) and Location 64.


Sustainability at Metro has evolved into a revenue-generating enterprise whose proceeds are reinvested into programs and infrastructure that continually improve the environmental, social and economic footprint of Metro. The following plans set the course for each of our programs and initiatives:

Moving Beyond Sustainability (2020)
The 10-year master plan is Metro's most comprehensive sustainability planning document to date, updating the agency's vision, commitment and guiding principals for sustainability. This effort sets forth goals, targets, strategies and actions in the areas of energy resource management, water quality and conservation, emissions and pollution control, resilience and climate adaption, materials, construction and operations, solid waste, and economic and workforce development based on the principles found in our framework policy documents.

Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (2019)
The 2019 CAAP outlines how Metro is both fighting climate change and preparing for a changing climate.

Energy Conservation and Management Plan
In 2011, the Metro Board adopted this plan to guide energy use in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Active Transportation Strategic Plan (ATSP)
Adopted May 26, 2016, ATSP is Metro's countywide effort to identify strategies to increase walking, bicycling and transit use in Los Angeles County. The ATSP proposes a regional network of active transportation facilities, including shared-use paths and on-street bikeways.

First Last Mile Strategic Plan (2015 National APA Best Practice Award Winner)
identifies how Metro and its partners can improve access and connections to public transit. The goal is to better coordinate infrastructure investments in station areas to extend the reach of transit, and ultimately increase ridership.

  • Plan Appendix I contains resources including: station area, checklists, planning context review and technical memos.
  • Plan Appendix II contains context review, technical memos and case studies.

Orange Line Corridor Implementation Plan
In 2012, the Metro Board identified a range of improvements to the G Line (Orange) and the fourteen station areas on its original alignment that will increase transit use for commuters and discretionary riders, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and advance Metro’s sustainable development principles.

Sustainable Rail Plan (2013)
The plan presents a combination of qualitative and quantitative discussions regarding the feasibility, cost and energy reduction potential of various strategies to enhance the sustainability of Metro’s rail system.

Water Action Plan (2010)
Metro Board adopted the Water Action Plan to better understand the relationship between current practices, equipment and water use. This plan is currently being updated.


Metro is regarded as a model in sustainability across the country, as exemplified by the following programs:

Metro Sustainability Program
The Sustainability Program guides the design and construction of world-class projects by incorporating sustainable elements and CALGreen requirements into the design and construction process for Metro capital projects.

Green Certifications
Metro builds to the highest sustainability standards with all projects larger than 10,000 square feet designed to LEED silver or higher . The following Metro projects have obtained Envision Platinum Certification: Expo Line, Section II (2018 APA Sustainable Communities Division Excellence in Sustainability Award Winner) and Purple Line Extension, Section 1 (2020 Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo Award Winner)

Climate Program
Metro plans and designs infrastructure and assets with changes to climate and stewardship of natural resources in mind. Metro is both fighting climate change and preparing for a changing climate with resources in the areas of mitigation and resiliency.


Sustainability is guided and strengthened by initiatives that support Metro's commitment to equity and inclusion, environmental compliance and livable neighborhoods. Transportation has the capacity to drive long-term environmental stewardship, social change and economic prosperity through cost-reducing and cost-neutral initiatives:

In order to reduce Metro’s carbon footprint and ensure that bus and rail services operate consistently and reliably, Metro looks for ways to lower greenhouse gas emissions and prepare the Agency and our riders for severe weather events and potential changes to local climate. The climate program currently addresses two key avenues for climate change response: climate mitigation and resiliency.

Complete Streets
An initiative focused on creating a comprehensive, integrated transportation network reflecting infrastructure and design that allows safe and convenient travel along and across streets for users of all ages, including pedestrians, public transit riders and bicyclists. Over 700 jurisdictions throughout the United States have adopted Complete Streets policies.

Sustainable Design
The incorporation of design elements is aimed at reducing the construction-related and long-term environmental impacts of a project, including green street features, native or drought-tolerant landscaping and energy-efficient lighting. Training on the sustainable design plan and requirements for implementation and reporting are offered through Metro's Planning Department.

Sustainability Council

As the first fully-functional regional Sustainability Council in LA County, the Council provides recommendations on matters including policies, operations, maintenance and the sustainable development of more than $140B in infrastructure projects.

The Council is composed of 30 voting members representing a range of sectors and stakeholder groups with expertise in sustainability and transportation. [more]