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D.C. Metro’s sustainability plan to cut energy use by 15%

Posted on April 22, 2014

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) unveiled a new initiative aimed at enhancing regional sustainability through performance-based targets for ridership, travel mode share, regional greenhouse gas emissions and connected communities.

The Metro Sustainability Initiative also commits Metro to internal performance targets for energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, waste reduction, renewable energy, storm water runoff impacts and potable water use. Taken along with near term action commitments, from paperless meetings to a renewed commitment to lifecycle asset management, these internal sustainability targets set Metro on a path to continue to rebuild efficiently to support a growing region.

Specific targets set by the Sustainability Initiative include:

•    Increasing Metro ridership 25% by 2025

•    Increasing greenhouse gas displacement by 10% by 2025

•    Reducing energy use per vehicle mile by 15% by 2025, and cutting in half greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle mile during the same time frame

•    Reducing water use per vehicle mile by 20% by 2025

Last spring Metro’s board of directors adopted Momentum, metro’s strategic plan, committing Metro to sustainability through 2025 and beyond.

RELATED: "Sustainable Service: Planning a Green(er) Line for Boston"

“Momentum sets Metro on a path to respond to today’s service demands and plan to accommodate millions of new riders while continuing to support the region’s economic competitiveness and quality of life,” said Metro GM and CEO Richard Sarles. “As a companion to Momentum, the Sustainability Initiative sets Metro on course to maximize the value of the investment placed in the system while adding value to the region through increased mobility and transit-oriented land use.”

Many “greener” investments are already underway throughout the system and support both the regional and internal goals of the Sustainability Initiative, including:

•    Garage lighting energy efficiency upgrades through $1.5 million in annual energy savings (more than 1% of Metro’s FY14 natural gas and electric costs).

•    A wayside energy storage technology pilot that has resulted in $250,000 reduction in traction power expense from a single installation.

•    Investments in a tub grinder that is expected to eliminate $53,000 in landscaping expenses and as much as $35,000 in waste disposal expenses annually.

•    Station chiller upgrades throughout the Metrorail system that generate annual efficiency savings of approximately $15,000 per station.

•    Investments in clean hybrid and natural gas buses increasing fuel economy by 30% over the past eight years.

•    All new Metro facility construction and major retrofits are LEED certified — using less energy and producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

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