Santa Monica bus fleet becomes one of first in U.S. to convert to biomethane

Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus has converted its fleet to the use of renewable LNG made from non-fracked methane harvested from organic waste in landfills.

NGV Global News

The City of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus (BBB), a municipal bus operator in the Westside region of Los Angeles, has become one of the USA’s first municipal transit authorities to convert its fleet to biomethane, which fuel supplier Clean Energy Fuels Corp (Clean Energy) refers to as renewable natural gas (RNG), rated 90% cleaner than diesel. Earlier this year, BBB modified its original agreement with Clean Energy to transition the supply of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for its fleet to renewable LNG (Redeem), which is non-fracked methane harvested from organic waste in landfills.

With the announcement, BBB unveiled a new Bus ad campaign called “Bigger, Bluer, Skies” to emphasize the lower emissions and sustainability of this type of fuel. The process of harvesting and processing Redeem provides a product that has fewer impurities than conventional natural gas and is a cleaner burning fuel source.

Big Blue Bus has been fueling its LNG and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fleet of motor coaches with fuel supplied by Clean Energy, an NGV Global Corporate Sponsor Member, since 2012.

“City Council has voiced its support for non-fracked, sustainable sources of fuel, and Redeem delivers a fuel made entirely of waste; a more sustainable product at an equal cost. This makes BBB’s partnership with Clean Energy to use the Redeem fuel a win-win solution,” says BBB’s Transit Director, Ed King.

The City of Santa Monica is a nationally recognized leader for its sustainability policies and actions. BBB has progressively contributed to the city’s sustainability narrative through its use of alternative fuel and ultimate phasing out of diesel-fueled motor coaches. Through this commitment, clean burning and renewable natural gas now power BBB’s entire fleet. The modification to the original agreement with Clean Energy to furnish and deliver renewable methane gas, as a replacement for traditional LNG, is cost neutral to the city. The addition of Redeem is a next step in BBB’s and the city’s sustainability portfolio.

“Big Blue Bus is a leader in sustainability and our ability to partner with it and provide a completely recyclable natural gas fueling option helps reduce emissions locally and shows other cities the power in using Redeem renewable fuel,” says Peter Grace, Clean Energy’s Senior Vice President for Sales and Finance.