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Big Blue Bus Receives Funding for Natural Gas Engine Upgrades

Big Blue Bus (BBB), the transit authority service Santa Monica, California, has announced it will receive $870,000 from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee’s (MSRC) Near Zero Engine Incentive Program. The funds will be used to upgrade the agency’s CNG engines, which will further reduce emissions and extend the lifespan of its vehicles.

Big Blue Bus will use the grant approved by the MSRC to partially fund the purchase of fifty-eight new Cummins-Westport 8.9L ISL G Near-Zero 0.02 NOx engines. The engines are first mid-range engine in North America to receive emission certifications from both the U.S. EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) that meet the 0.02 g/bhp-hr optional Near Zero NOx Emissions standards. The new engines will be installed over a period of three to four years, at a rate of 12 to 18 buses per year.

In June 2015, Big Blue Bus was awarded $5.9 million from the Federal Transit Administration to purchase nine new CNG buses. BBB says the recent procurement of both CNG buses and engines will help the agency reduce its current nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by over 90 percent in 2018.

“Big Blue Bus’s steady procurement of low-emitting, alternatively-fueled vehicles is very much indicative of an ongoing, citywide commitment to sustainability, while providing a strong, affordable, reliable regional transit system,” said Santa Monica Mayor Tony Vazquez. “Their efforts continue to play a significant role in reducing the City’s carbon footprint, including its greenhouse gas emissions while mitigating the adverse effects of climate change in our region.”