Clean Air! Tell TriMet Tell Metro No More New Diesel Buses! (Date Change)

This post is an update to an earlier post on the topic. You can get more information here.

MultDems Climate Action Team continues to lobby for electric buses that can reduce emissions in our communities. They are being heard! Join your voice to the chorus that expects our transit system to walk the talk and fight the climate crisis.

This post is to update everyone and announce a date change for the second Metro Council Meeting.

CAT’s Rachel Rodri gets the prize for most persuasive testimony last Thursday 2-20-20 at the Metro Council meeting! Listen and view Rachel here. at 23:49 into the video, Council President Lynn Peterson responds at 26:50:

Council President Peterson’s words:

We are going to forward your comments along with a cover letter to TriMet, to ask them to respond to us and also to you. We have your names and addresses so we can get that response to you. And I think all of us up here are committed to making sure we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions in whatever work that we do.

And there is a lot of work this council has done prior to my being here. There is a Climate Smart Strategy plan (c. 2015, left out transit) that we are hoping to get funding for from a cap and trade bill if it were to pass this session in the legislature which would be a huge step forward. I also know that you probably know that one of the programs that was proposed in the transportation package that would go to the voters in November…if the proposal continues as foreseen is to accelerate the purchase of electric vehicles according to TriMet’s Plan because they have a long run-out period and we are hoping to reduce that period. So we’re doing everything in our power and we will certainly send this message over to TriMet and get a response.

What Council President Petersen is Referring to

Program Concept: Transit Vehicle Electrification Date: 9-20-19 To: Metro Council From: Tyler Frisbee, Gov Affairs and Policy Development Subject: Staff recommendation re: Programs for a Transportation Investment Measure

A transit electrification program would focus on ensuring that the region’s transit agencies do not need to buy a diesel bus ever again. The region’s Climate Smart Strategy identifies increasing transit service as a key way to encourage more people to ride transit, consequently reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution while reducing inequities built into our transportation system. However, most transit buses run on diesel fuel, which increases diesel particulate matter along key transit corridors. While the overall impact to our air quality and public health is still much better than it would be without that transit service, there is significant interest in the region in reducing our reliance on diesel-fueled buses in order to build a cleaner transit system. Reducing diesel particulate emissions will have significant impacts on public health outcomes and air quality metrics, and since many current transit lines run through the communities of people of color and lower income communities, this program will help advance the Council’s racial equity goals.

Metro’s Actions

They have not challenged TriMet’s “plan” to buy 159 NEW DIESEL buses. Right now, Transit Vehicle Electrification is a Program Concept. That’s it.And because they know that “Reducing diesel particulate emissions will have significant impacts on public health outcomes and air quality metrics, and since many current transit lines run through neighborhoods with many people of color and people with lower incomes, this program will help advance the Council’s racial equity goals.,” They also know that Increasing diesel particulate emissions will have significant impacts on public health outcomes…..for people of color and lower incomes. To achieve the Council’s racial equity goals there must be URGENCY to develop a Zero Emissions Fleet Transition Program!

Your next opportunity to provide Testimony – Note DATE CHANGE

Take ACTION Tell Metro Council, Tell TriMet – NO NEW Diesel Buses

Come Testify and/or support others who do!

February 26th, 9:00 a.m. Public Forum section of TriMet Board’s agenda. 121 SW Salmon St., Portland, OR

March 12, 2:00 p.m. Public Comment section of Metro Council’s agenda. 600 NE Grand Ave, Portland OR

How to present testimony — even if you have never participated in a public meeting before

Present Testimony – Come early to sign up. Bring 10 copies of your testimony. 2-3 minutes max. Read your comments or letter and leave Board and Council Members copies for the public record.

Can’t attend? Send emails

…to the TriMet Board and Metro Council, which will be part of the public record. You may submit testimony to Metro Council through this online form. If you submit by 10 am the day of the meeting, it will be in the minutes.

Alternately, create an email to the TriMet Board, send to boardtestimony@trimet.org.

Subject: Clean Air! No More New Diesel Buses

  • State your support for no new Diesel Buses, and for a plan for a Zero-Emissions Fleet as soon as possible.
  • Say who you are and why you care about cleaner air and stopping carbon emissions. “I am (a parent, grandparent, high school student…..) and I (have a child with asthma….am very concerned about climate change, want Oregon to lead on climate actions, etc.)Ask for a response.
  • Sign with your name and location (city and zip code).Thank you for your involvement!