Less fuel consumption, more hybrid buses among Sound Transit sustainability goals

Sound Transit today announced the release of a report on the agency’s record in meeting 2010 sustainability goals and its establishment of ambitious new goals for 2011. Setting annual sustainability targets is part of the agency’s voluntary compliance with rigorous international standards for environmental management systems. Sound Transit is one of only several transit agencies in the United States to receive certification under ISO 14001 standards.

“Sound Transit’s environmental benefits don’t stop with providing fast and convenient train and bus service to more than 86,000 riders and counting who leave their cars behind each weekday,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. “Sound Transit is proud to play a leading role within the transit industry in identifying numerous ways our operations, planning, engineering and construction efforts can further help protect our national environment.”

“With our 2011 sustainability goals, Sound Transit is demonstrating our commitment to leading transit agencies in becoming more energy efficient and environmentally responsible,” said Sound Transit Board and King County Councilmember Larry Phillips. “The 2011 goals focus on reducing fuel and energy consumption and promoting green design, construction, and operations for light rail.”

Accomplishments outlined in the agency’s 2010 Sustainability Progress Report include:

— Installing new electric wayside power units for Sounder locomotives at the Everett Sounder Station. These units allow the Sounder trains to maintain heat and power during layovers without burning diesel fuel;

— Reducing non-revenue fleet fuel consumption by 15 percent;

— Reducing energy use at Union Station by 8 percent;

— Increasing bicycle parking by 150 spaces;

— Implementing ecosystem restoration projects;

— Incorporating sustainable design into agency design guidelines and standards

For 2011, Sound Transit will continue to advance the agency’s Sustainability Initiative by focusing its efforts on 31 sustainability targets including:

— Developing and implementing a long-term strategic plan for the Sustainability Initiative;

— Purchasing at least 21 hybrid replacement buses;

— Developing an Energy Management Strategy for Sound Transit properties to reduce energy consumption;

— Reducing Sounder fuel consumption by 1.5 percent;

— Applying sustainable design criteria at each phase of Link light rail expansion

The full 2010 Sustainability Progress Report and list of 2011 targets are available at http://www.soundtransit.org/x3685.xml .