Climate Action Plan

FTA Issues Challenge to Transit Providers to Build Local Climate Action Strategies

On April 22, 2021, President Biden announced an ambitious goal for the United States to achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution in 2030.  On June 15, 2021, FTA launched the Sustainable Transit for a Healthy Planet Challenge to encourage transit agencies to build on progress already made and to further reduce GHG emissions from public transportation to support President Biden’s GHG reduction goal.

Transportation is a major source of GHG emissions in the United States, accounting for 29 percent of 2019 GHG emissions (EPA’s U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2019). Public transportation plays an important role in reducing a community’s transportation GHG emissions through transportation and land use efficiencies.

Transit agencies are increasingly taking actions to reduce their own carbon emissions to further the GHG emission reduction benefits associated with public transportation. Public transit bus fleets are undergoing a dramatic shift toward transitioning to alternative fuel sources. In 2019, 18 percent of the nation’s bus fleet was hybrid-electric, from only 1 percent in 2005, and the number of electric buses continues to grow.

FTA’s Sustainable Transit for a Healthy Planet Challenge encourages transit agencies to take bold actions and investments to cut GHG emissions. The challenge calls on transit agencies to develop climate action strategies with measurable goals to achieve GHG emission targets. All transit agencies nationwide, regardless of size or service area, are encouraged to develop climate action or sustainability plans that detail GHG reduction strategies, such as converting fleets to electric buses and making facilities more energy efficient.

Throughout 2021 and early 2022, FTA will provide technical assistance through the Climate Challenge to support agencies in their development of climate action plans or other strategies. Challenge participants will be offered opportunities for personalized technical assistance beginning in Fall 2021. On Earth Day 2022, FTA will showcase the impact of the challenge and transit agency success stories toward reducing their GHG emissions.

Sign up for the Sustainable Transit for a Healthy Planet Challenge.