New York public transport authority wants to fuel buses with biomethane
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) issued a request for proposals to purchase ultra-low-carbon renewable natural gas to fuel some 800 New York City buses currently running on CNG. It represents the first step any heavy duty vehicle fleet in NYC has taken towards adopting biomethane. “This fuel shift will make the MTA a clear national leader in use of the cleanest, lowest-carbon fuel available today,” said Matt Tomich, president of the NGO Energy Vision.
According to the California Air Resources Board, biomethane is the lowest carbon vehicle fuel available, and when made in anaerobic digesters from food wastes or manures and used as a transportation fuel, it is net carbon-negative over its lifecycle. Biomethane production prevents methane biogases emitted as organic materials decay from escaping into the atmosphere and having a powerful climate-warming impact.
MTA plans to replace the equivalent of 12 to 14 million gallons of CNG a year with biomethane. That will put over 650,000 tons of organic waste to beneficial use: reducing lifecycle carbon emissions of MTA’s CNG buses by some 40,000 tons a year, and helping New York State meet its goal of reducing GHG emissions 40% by 2030. Switching to biomethane requires no conversion of buses, engines or fueling infrastructure, so it will not increase the fleet’s costs and may save it money.
“If we’re going to meet the Paris climate goal of cutting greenhouse gases 80% by 2050, biomethane must be part of the solution,” said Joanna Underwood, Energy Vision’s founder. “For MTA and any bus or truck fleets that adopt it, biomethane enables them to meet or exceed the Paris goal not by 2050, but today.”
“Transportation is the number one source of emissions in the state, and decreasing pollution from buses is one of our top priorities,” said Julie Tighe, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Transitioning to ultra-low-carbon renewable natural gas is a cost-effective solution that can be implemented immediately.”