METRO Houston has been reducing emissions by utilizing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) since 2016 with a fleet of 50 CNG buses in the Houston area. In 2015, METRO entered into a fuel supply agreement with Freedom CNG to provide clean burning CNG fuel for their buses. Using Freedom’s North Houston facility located in the Pinto Business Park near I-45 & Beltway 8, METRO leads the way in public transportation by dedicating resources for the protection of the environment through the use of alternative fuels.
Since 2016 METRO has traveled 8.2 million miles on CNG. With 20 more CNG buses on order from New Flyer Industries, METRO aims to improve their environmental footprint in the Space City.
The Houston-Woodlands Area has poor air quality, with 67% of Houston’s ozone production coming from mobile emissions including cars, trucks and buses. The American Lung Association ranks Houston11th on the list of most polluted cities in the United States. METRO implemented change to combat the ever-growing ozone issue and in 2017 used over 1 million gallons of CNG, thereby reducing 1,078 tons of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) gas, which contributes heavily to the creation of ozone. CNG buses produce 20 percent less carbon dioxide and 70 percent less carbon monoxide compared to their diesel fuel counterparts, according to the EPA. Further, exhaust from diesel-fueled trucks includes more than 40 substances listed by the EPA as hazardous pollutants. Replacing short-haul diesel vehicles with CNG over time can reduce NOx emissions by up to 50,000 tons per year, which will help the Houston Areaachieve ozone attainment.
“METRO, as one of the largest diesel buyers in the area, has a unique opportunity to significantly improve air quality locally by expanding the use of CNG for a large percentage of the 1200 transit buses in Houston“, said Freedom Co-Manager Bill Winters. “METRO can be a catalyst for change in Houstonby encouraging other local governmental entities to use CNG, which is a proven, clean, cheap, stable, locally produced and reliable transportation fuel.” Together, METRO and Freedom CNG are fueling local partnerships while striving to reduce ozone-producing NOx emissions in the Houston-Woodlands area.