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Published on : Saturday, October 5, 2013
In early 2013, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) granted Metrolink $34.66 million in Carl Moyer Program funds to help support the commuter rail agency’s purchase of 17 Tier 4 locomotives. An additional $17 million, essential for the purchase of three additional locomotives, was contingent upon the extension of the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program. The Carl Moyer Program was set to expire in 2014 and AB 8 extended the program to 2024.
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. marked “National Plug In Day” by signing AB 8 by Assemblymember Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), on Saturday. Brown’s signature demonstrates his ongoing support for California’s commitment to a cleaner transportation sector.
“We are grateful for the California legislature and Governor Brown’s support for investments in clean transportation technologies,” said Metrolink Board Chair and San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris. “Modernizing Metrolink’s fleet of locomotives through the Carl Moyer program is a tremendous achievement for clean air and rail transportation in Southern California. Ultimately it is the people of the region and Metrolink riders that will benefit from these more efficient and cleaner burning engines.”
The Metrolink Board of Directors authorized the agency to procure up to 20 Tier 4 locomotives at its December 14, 2012 meeting. The total project cost is nearly $130 million. Tier 4 locomotives are expected to reduce particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions by over 85 percent compared to current Tier 0 locomotive engines. Metrolink is the first commuter rail system in the country to procure the new Tier 4 locomotives.
“Passage of AB 8 is a win-win for air quality and public health,” said William A. Burke, chairman of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. “Continued progress toward accelerating the transition to cleaner transportation technologies is vital to clean air and public health.”
Metrolink is dedicated to lowering regional emissions by removing vehicles from freeways by operating the most environmentally responsible technology. The investment will allow for the removal of Tier 0 locomotives over an approximate three-year period beginning in 2015.
Various community groups, non-profit organizations and elected officials supported SCAQMD’s investment and the legislation to extend the Carl Moyer Program.