April 26, 2019. TransLink and FortisBC announced a partnership that will source renewable natural gas (RNG) for TransLink’s natural gas bus fleet. TransLink is now the first public transportation authority in Canada to use RNG, a certified carbon-neutral fuel, to help fuel its natural gas powered buses.
“TransLink is a model for transit authorities and fleet operators across the province for making the switch to low-carbon fuels,” said Douglas Stout, vice-president, market development and external relations, FortisBC. “Compressed natural gas vehicles, which make up roughly a fifth of TransLink’s bus fleet, have close to 21 per cent fewer emissions with a 50 per cent reduction in fuel costs versus diesel. RNG could offer the same savings while further reducing emissions by an additional 80 per cent versus CNG.”
FortisBC and TransLink have signed an RNG-supply contract that will provide up to 500,000 gigajoules (GJs) annually within five years. This is expected to provide enough to fuel the existing natural gas bus fleet with 100 per cent RNG. Over the five-year period, the transition to RNG will reduce TransLink’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50,000 tons – equivalent to taking 10,000 cars off the road for one year. The decision to use RNG is a positive step for TransLink towards its goal of using 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.
Using natural gas as a transportation fuel is an important step to help British Columbia (BC) move to a low-carbon future. More and more fleet owners and operators across North America are switching to natural gas so they can save on fuel costs and reduce their environmental footprint. RNG has significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, a sector that contributes almost 40 per cent of GHG emissions in B.C.