Customer Success Stories

Big Blue Bus Raises the Green Standard with Renewable Natural Gas

Planting 234,615 Trees

Reducing Emissions by 8K+ Metric Tons/Yr

Like Removing 1,926+ Cars

Running Cleaner for the Community

Santa Monica, California is known for its environmental consciousness and sustainability practices. Serving one of the most traffic congested regions in the nation, Big Blue Bus, the City’s transit department, strives to improve its impact on the environment while conscious of budget constraints. The coastal city of over 90,000 continues its dedication to environmental action by transitioning the City’s famous Big Blue Bus (BBB) public transportation fleet to Redeem™, Clean Energy’s renewable natural gas fuel (RNG). Sourced from 100% renewable biomethane which captures and processes the biogas that occurs naturally in the breakdown of organic waste in landfills, Redeem™ reduces the Big Blue Bus fleet’s carbon footprint by nearly 90%.

Nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to a cleaner environment, Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of 200 vehicles and transports more than 61,000 customers every day. The BBB fleet not only reduces congestion in crowded Los Angeles County streets, it virtually stops contributing pollution by providing the cleanest rides available. Fueling with conventional LNG beginning nearly a decade ago, the BBB team is now proudly operating an even more efficient, economically-responsible and clean-running fleet. BBB’s Transit Director, Ed King says: “City Council has voiced its support for sustainable sources of fuel, and Redeem delivers a fuel made entirely of waste, making BBB’s partnership with Clean Energy to use the Redeem™ fuel is a win-win solution.”

“It’s great to know we’re setting this kind of example for other cities…”

– BBB Rider

The numbers prove that point without question. Prior to 2015 BBB’s use of conventional LNG reduced greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by up to 2,300 metric tons per year. The transition to Redeem™ fuel has produced results almost four times better. The City estimates an annual average use of 2 million gallons of fuel, putting its total GHG reduction at over 9,100 metric tons when compared to a baseline of using ultra low sulfur diesel fuel. That’s the equivalent of taking 1,926 cars off the road every single year.

The socially and environmentally conscious Santa Monica community couldn’t be happier about the improvements provided by the switch to Redeem™. “It’s great to know we’re setting this kind of example for other cities,” says commuter Aimee Ware. “Hopefully others will follow suit.” Another customer benefit is that natural gas buses run much quieter than diesel-fueled buses still found in many cities. It’s no surprise that a cleaner, quieter bus will entice more people to ride, and that means less traffic congestion and even more GHG-producing cars are being taken off the road.

GHG reduction has always been a key part of the strategy for the Santa Monica city management team. City officials wanted a non-fracked alternative fuel that the public could support and get excited about. Officials were helpful in driving the forward-thinking Redeem™ initiative, paving the way for this all-important transit vehicle enhancement. City involvement also lent both vision to and public exposure for the process being undertaken by the BBB team.

In addition to the environmental and cost-saving benefits, the Big Blue Bus operation enjoys the ease and convenience of having its own natural gas filling station. The station, built and operated by Clean Energy Fuels, features two 30,000 gallon LG tanks with two LCNG pumps and two LNG dispensers, all of which now flow Redeem™ fuel into the buses.

All BBB buses include boarding ramps, space for mobility devices and wheelchairs, and bike racks. Modern features like these encourage residents to give public transit a try, but no feature is met with more praise and interest than the clean-burning fuel made entirely from waste. To that end, the City has been running highly successful advertising: “Ride Blue. Go Green.” The campaign includes signage on the buses themselves. With the switch to Redeem™, customers in the Big Blue Bus service area who “ride blue” are now “going greener” than ever.