FortisBC, TransLink partner to move bus fleet to renewable natural gas

TransLink and FortisBC are partnering up to supply renewable natural gas for TransLink's natural gas bus fleet.

The announcement, made Wednesday, means TransLink is the first public transportation authority in Canada to use RNG to help fuel its natural gas powered buses, according to a news release.

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"TransLink is a model for transit authorities and fleet operators across the province for making the switch to low-carbon fuels," Douglas Stout, vice-president, market development and external relations, FortisBC, said in the release.

"Compressed natural gas vehicles, which make up roughly a fifth of TransLink's bus fleet, have close to 21 per cent fewer emissions with a 50 per cent reduction in fuel costs versus diesel. RNG could offer the same savings while further reducing emissions by an additional 80 per cent versus CNG."

FortisBC and TransLink have signed a contract to supply up to 500,000 gigajoules annually within five years. The transition from CNG to RNG will reduce TransLink's emissions by 50,000 tons, the same as taking 10,000 cars off the road for a year, according to the release.

"Investing in transit is essential for our region and the environmental benefits of doing so can't be understated," TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said.

"Using renewable natural gas moves us towards meeting our environmental goals and reduces our reliance on fossil fuels. It's partnerships like this that help create a more livable and sustainable region today and into the future."

The transportation sector accounts for around 40% of emissions in B.C. Renewable natural gas is certified carbon neutral and is included within B.C.'s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. It yields higher emissions credits than CNG due to its lower carbon intensity, according to the release.

"Our government's CleanBC strategy will significantly reduce carbon pollution over the next 10 years, and TransLink is a partner in helping us achieve that goal," said Selina Robinson, the provincial minister responsible for TransLink.

"Transitioning from conventional natural gas to renewable natural gas in TransLink's bus fleet keeps Metro Vancouver moving while helping BC move along its path towards a cleaner, better future for everyone."

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