Metrolink, Los Angeles’ mass transit train system, introduced its first of a new line of high-speed diesel-electric hybrid trains to coincide with Earth Day last week. Metrolink claims that their new MotivePower MPXpress commuter locomotives are the most energy efficient and least polluting hybrids currently available.
According to Keith Millhouse, Metrolink vice chairman, "The locomotive we’re getting has a higher horsepower, a longer train with a new sleek technological design."
Over the next year, Metrolink plans to roll out 15 of these new souped-up trains. The locomotive is 10 feet longer and capable of towing an additional four passenger cars and 1,200 passengers.
Metrolink currently keeps 25,000 cars off of L.A.’s highways every day, according to spokesperson Denise Tyrell. The new trains will increase ridership while reducing nitrogen emissions by 42% and CO emission by 70% compared to trains currently in service in SoCal. The new trains feature technology that makes idling a thing of the past, further reducing emissions.
Choosing mass transit results in a definitive improvement in one’s environmental impact – equal to 4,800 fewer pounds of emissions per person per year according to Tyrell. Increasing the efficiency of trains just makes the choice more obvious.
Mass transit options have blossomed in the quintessentially car-centric, sprawling Los Angeles area. With congestion – and smog – choking the region, gas prices skyrocketing, and the mayor supporting alternatives to the auto, L.A. is starting to look like an example for other cities looking to transition towards sustainability.
Via Ventura County Star.