Since 2016, OCTA has worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Orange County. It’s a complex job that results in cleaner air and significant savings for residents. Now, OCTA’s accomplishments have been recognized by Element Markets, which provides OCTA with renewable natural gas (RNG) and management consulting services.
The Element Markets Crystal Award recognizes major milestones and is issued on a periodic basis, either following an annual review, or in response to a noteworthy achievement, such as OCTA’s accomplishment of reducing more than 200,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas by choosing RNG.
“We celebrate OCTA for helping lead the way with respect to decarbonization,” said Angela Schwarz, Element Markets Co-President and CEO. “It has been exciting to track OCTA’s greenhouse gas reductions through their use of RNG as fuel across the OCTA fleet of buses and vehicles. To put things into context, OCTA’s total greenhouse gas reductions through RNG are equivalent to removing over 43,000 passenger vehicles from the road for one year. This is a significant achievement well-deserving of recognition, and we’re proud to work with OCTA in support of their sustainability goals.”
OCTA operates more than 500 fixed-route buses in Orange County. The majority of the fleet features near zero-emission engines that run on clean-burning RNG. This environmentally conscious fuel is produced by the decomposition of organic matter from landfills and other sources and then processed to purity standards.
As a consumer of natural gas for its bus operation, OCTA is able to receive revenue generated from its use of RNG based on programs at the state and federal level. The revenue OCTA receives from the sale of the credits, under these programs, more than covers the cost of RNG required for fuel. Since 2016, OCTA has earned more than $22 million from these credits.
In addition, OCTA is conducting a pilot program as part of its plan to convert the OC Bus fleet to 100 percent zero-emission technology by 2040. OCTA has invested in 10 plug-in battery-electric buses and an equal number of hydrogen fuel-cell electric buses. This pilot will help determine which technology - or mix of technologies - will help bring even cleaner air quality to Orange County. For more information about OCTA’s environmental efforts, please visit here.