"At TriMet, we found that switching to renewable diesel and renewable energy immediately reduced our greenhouse gas emissions without needing new equipment or adjustments to our existing equipment."

Roberta Altstadt
Director of Communications


TriMet has purchased Neste MY Renewable Diesel to power about
700 fixed-route buses


77,000 tons of GHG emissions
will be kept out of the atmosphere per year, equivalent to making 15,000 cars zero emission.


TriMet’s maintenance costs are expected to reduce by an estimated
$100,000 annually

How renewable diesel helped TriMet achieve their climate goals faster

TriMet is Portland, Oregon’s public transit agency that provides bus, light rail, commuter rail and paratransit services to a region of more than 1.8 million people. Their bold climate action plan entails a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040, as well as to support and improve environmental sustainability and stewardship, and address environmental and social justice issues. 

To achieve these goals, TriMet needed low emission fuels that could immediately replace fossil fuels for its existing 700 fixed-route buses fleet. Renewable diesel proved to be the perfect solution.

3 challenges faced by TriMet  

  1. Maintaining efficiency and high-level of performance for all transportation options as ridership increases  
  2. Leading the state’s transportation industry away from traditional diesel and biodiesel blends, to high-quality, affordable renewable fuel to meet sustainability goals
  3. Significantly reducing GHG emissions from its fixed-route bus fleets and other transit vehicles

Switching to renewable diesel immediately reduced our GHG emissions while helping improve the air quality in the communities we serve.

Roberta Altstadt, Director of Communications


Transforming Oregon’s Transportation Industry

Over the past 53 years, TriMet has provided more than 3 billion rides through its transit system. Every time a person chooses a shared ride on transit, the environment benefits. However, TriMet’s buses were historically powered by fossil fuels, making it Oregon’s largest consumer of fossil diesel, until now. 

TriMet’s decision to power its bus fleet with renewable diesel in 2021, along with investments in other low- and zero-emission technologies, has transformed the agency into a climate change fighter.

Neste and its local partner Carson are uniquely positioned to supply TriMet with the volumes of renewable diesel needed to power about 700 buses. Neste was one of the first companies to supply renewable diesel into Oregon after the state adopted its low carbon fuel standard and has been working closely with Carson to ensure available supply to meet increasing demand.

Now, TriMet and its drivers, riders and local communities are enjoying the immediate, lasting benefits of buses powered by cleaner burning, low-emission renewable diesel. Importantly, TriMet is able to show meaningful action toward the goals outlined in its climate action plan. 

A Today Solution 

TriMet’s ambitious climate action plan requires an all-of-the-above approach to become a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040 - electrification, renewable fuels, and more. For heavy-duty vehicles using fossil diesel, switching to Neste MY Renewable can reduce up to 75% GHG emissions. TriMet's fleet of buses had been using biodiesel blend prior to switching to Neste MY Renewable Diesel, so now it is expecting to achieve more than 60% reduction in GHG emissions. TriMet also has 14 electric buses in its fleet and operates eight hybrid-electric buses, along with a 60-mile light rail system powered by renewable electricity.

“TriMet’s combined move toward renewable electricity and diesel adds up to an expected reduction of 77,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year, and up to 96,500 tons by 2050. Our climate actions today result in a significant, immediate impact for the environment,” said Roberta Altstadt, Director of Communications.
TriMet works closely with Neste and other fuel providers to power its fixed-route buses, LIFT paratransit vehicles and WES commuter rails. Because renewable diesel is chemically similar to fossil diesel, TriMet is able to fill up with renewable diesel using the same fueling infrastructure and systems already in place, with no changes or modification to engines. 

“At TriMet, we found that switching to renewable diesel and renewable energy immediately reduced our greenhouse gas emissions without needing new equipment or adjustments to our existing equipment,” said Roberta Altstadt, Director of Communications.

TriMet also expects to realize cost savings from powering its buses with renewable diesel. Renewable diesel burns cleaner than fossil diesel, resulting in less engine wear and tear, road failures, less carbon buildup in the emission system, and fewer sensor failures.

A Path Toward a Sustainable Community

TriMet’s transportation options enable people to stay connected with their community while simultaneously easing traffic congestion and fighting climate change without a disruption to habits and systems already in place. As ridership and demand for public transportation increase, renewable diesel has the proven efficiency needed to support this influx without compromising performance.

“In order for Oregon to make progress in reducing emissions, everyone in the transportation industry needs to analyze their impact on the environment and take steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Using renewable diesel, TriMet is helping our region address climate change and create a cleaner air future,” said Roberta Altstadt, Director of Communications.

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