SANTA MONICA—Big Blue Bus announced last week that it will receive nearly $900,000 in funds from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee’s Near Zero Engine Incentive Program. The bus operator will receive $870,000 in funds that will be used to upgrade its compressed natural gas engines. This will further Big Blue Bus’ mission to reduce emissions while extending the lifespan of its vehicles.
“Big Blue Bus will use the grant approved by the MSRC to partially fund the purchase of fifty-eight new Cummins-Westport 8.9L ISL G Near-Zero 0.02 NOx engines; the first mid-range engine in North America to receive emission certifications from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (ARB), that meet the 0.02 g/bhp-hr optional Near Zero NOx Emissions standards. The new engines will be installed over a period of 3 to 4 years, at a rate of 12 to 18 buses per year,” states a press release from the city of Santa Monica.
Big Blue Bus was awarded $5.9 million from the Federal Transit Administration in June 2015 to purchase nine compressed natural gas buses. With both compressed natural gas buses and engines, the bus operator will reduce its current nitrogen oxide emissions by over 90 percent in 2018.
“The funding provided by the FTA will strengthen BBB’s vigorous pursuit of sustainable and environmentally responsible practices, in virtually every facet of our operations,” said Ed King, Director of Transit Services for Big Blue Bus. “It will also enable us to make long-term investments in new technologies that ensure the efficiency of service to our customers and the future scalability of the agency.”
“Big Blue Bus’ steady procurement of low-emitting, alternatively-fueled vehicles is very much indicative of an ongoing, citywide commitment to sustainability, while providing a strong, affordable, reliable regional transit system. Their efforts continue to play a significant role in reducing the City’s carbon footprint, including its greenhouse gas emissions, while mitigating the adverse effects of climate change in our region,” said Santa Monica Mayor Tony Vazquez.
About Big Blue Bus
Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of almost 200 vehicles transporting more than 61,000 passengers daily across a 51-square mile service area. Nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to a cleaner environment, the entire fleet operates on alternative fuels, including renewable natural gas (RNG) a form of liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG/CNG), which reduces emissions by over 90 percent. Serving Santa Monica and the Los Angeles area since 1928, Big Blue Bus has won numerous awards for its marketing and outreach, customer service, safety and efficiency.