Ill.'s MetroLINK, Fla.'s PSTA recognized for sustainability initiatives

Posted on August 2, 2019

MetroLINK deployed its first eight zero emission battery electric buses and accompanying charging system over the last 18 months.
Gunter Schwarz
MetroLINK deployed its first eight zero emission battery electric buses and accompanying charging system over the last 18 months.Gunter Schwarz

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recognized the 2019 sustainability award winners in the Silver category: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) in St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK) in Moline, Ill. The prizes were announced at APTA’s annual Sustainability & Multimodal Planning Workshop in Boston.

“Making this commitment to sustainability lays the groundwork that will allow for future investment in new technologies and practices that will make for a brighter future for many generations to come,” APTA President/CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said.

Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority - PSTA operates Florida’s largest fleet of hybrid-electric vehicles, with over 80 buses in the fleet. In addition, two all-electric buses are currently in operation, with four more planned for 2020. PSTA has implemented a variety of sustainability programs to benefit Pinellas County residents and visitors, including reducing electricity consumption, an internal recycling program, and operation of an after-hours service that provides Uber/taxi rides to low-income riders going to or from work when buses are not running.

Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK) – MetroLINK is focused on a sustainable Quad Cities through voluntary efforts to reduce vehicle emissions, building efficient and sustainable infrastructure, and communicating transit’s environmental benefits to the community. Over 75% of MetroLINK’s fixed-route fleet is powered by CNG buses, and the system deployed its first eight zero-emission battery electric buses and accompanying charging system over the last 18 months. Recent infrastructure investments include a USGBC LEED Silver passenger terminal, which was part of a larger transit-oriented development project with residential housing, and a state-of-the-art Operations and Maintenance Facility with a rooftop solar array, solar thermal hot water system, and a bus wash water-reclamation system.

First started in 2009, 154 public transit agencies and businesses have signed on to the APTA Sustainability Commitment. Public transit agencies and businesses voluntarily choose to join the program and pledge to implement processes and actions that create continuous improvements in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Organizations are given Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Level recognition based on specific measurable achievements.

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