It is no secret the transportation sector is now the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Nevada (41%) and nationwide (30%). So if you’re asking what is the RTC doing about it, well I’m glad you asked.
For more than a decade, the agency has been transitioning its fleet from diesel-fueled buses to ones powered by a more environmentally friendly fuel, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). By the end of this year, 71% of RTC’s more than 700 buses will run on CNG. By 2023, the RTC plans to power nearly 100% of its entire fleet with CNG.
In case you happened to see a neon green or purple bus over the summer, those were piloted electric buses. The RTC partnered with two e-bus manufacturers, New Flyer and Proterra to test their vehicles on our routes for two weeks. They drove along the Strip and Downtown Express (SDX) route and performed well during the pilot, especially with the air conditioning maintaining a comfortable level between 74 to 78 degrees, which is the largest concern for e-buses in the Vegas heat.. We are looking to purchase and incorporate two e-buses into our fleet as a continuation of the pilot by the end of 2020.
But clean energy doesn’t stop with just our busses. If you live, work, or play in downtown Las Vegas, make sure to check out RTC Bike Share’s electric bikes. A total of 20 e-bikes were added this spring and cyclists are loving them. So much that the e-bikes are ridden 33-percent more than the standard bikes since the e-bike launch in August.
As we continue to explore sustainable transportation options, it’s important to talk about it especially with those who care about clean energy. That’s why the RTC brought together policymakers from all levels of government and experts to have a candid discussion during our Clean Energy and Transportation Summit in August. It was a packed house at Thomas and Mack’s Strip View Pavilion as more than 350 individuals joined the conversation.
We remain committed to being a driving force in sustainable transportation and are looking at clean energy from all angles of our main functions: transit, roadway planning and funding, and traffic management. We’re always exploring new ways to go green. Stay tune for what’s next!