Tell TriMet: Commit to 100% Bus Electrification!

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Climate change is a defining issue of our time. Without a massive transformation to a fossil-fuel free economy, our world will be overwhelmed with rising sea levels, exacerbated droughts, and more extreme weather patterns. Here in Oregon, one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions is our transportation sector. TriMet, our state’s largest transit agency, has the opportunity to reduce our climate impacts by phasing out its diesel buses and electrifying its fleet by 2035.

Recognizing the advancements in battery-powered buses, as well as the multiple public health and quality of life benefits of these vehicles, transit agencies are rapidly converting their fleets. For example:

  • King County’s Metro Transit will add 120 new all-electric buses over the next three years and plans to transition to a zero-emission fleet by 2034; 
  • New York City announced it will convert its bus system to an all-electric fleet by 2040 or sooner; and
  • San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency has committed to an all electric bus fleet by 2035.

We call upon TriMet to publically commit to transitioning completely to an electric bus fleet. Electric buses have quality of life benefits for both riders and those residing near bus lines. They are lower to the ground, not choked with toxic diesel exhaust, and are considerably quieter than traditional buses. As TriMet appropriately increases the frequency of buses along many routes and in historically underserved parts of our community, adoption of electric buses would have tremendous benefits for transit riders and the communities through which buses operate. We also ask that TriMet prioritize electric buses along routes that serve predominantly low-income and communities of color, who studies have shown bear the brunt of our community’s diesel pollution.


Our region prides itself on its environmental leadership and innovative policies - the removal of Harbor Drive from our waterfront; the implementation of the urban growth boundary to protect farm and forest land; and the Coal to Clean legislation were all pioneering policies.


TriMet has played a key role and been a leader in this field - from catalyzing a rebirth in urban rail to pioneering the use of more accessible low-floor light rail cars. TriMet has the opportunity to clean-up our air, take a bold step in protecting the climate, and make our region even more livable in one fell swoop. It is time for TriMet to reflect our values by moving forward with a bold vision and sound strategy for electrifying the bus fleet.

 



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