CLEVELAND -- The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has recognized the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) for its outstanding achievements in sustainability. RTA is now one of five public transit systems in North America at the Silver Level status in APTA’s Sustainability Commitment program.
“I congratulate RTA on its leadership in developing and implementing significant sustainable processes that are good for business, good for the environment and good for the community,” said Richard A. White, APTA Acting President and CEO. “RTA is leading the way and serving as a model for the public transportation industry.”
“We’re proud to receive this significant honor,” said RTA CEO and General Manager Joe Calabrese. “Our commitment to sustainability is evident in the many ways our employees serve the community with a focus on meeting or exceeding our environmental, societal and financial objectives."
“The staff has made the program a success, because we have integrated sustainability efforts into our Strategic Plan. We will continue to maintain sound fiscal management, and advance our safety and security initiatives – all while reducing the use of and dependence upon natural resources,” said Calabrese. “It’s always a win-win when we focus on enhancing the quality of life.”
Examples of RTA's sustainability accomplishments
RTA achieved an impressive 5 percent reduction in water consumption through the implementation of a utility tracking program to quickly address leaks or other system inefficiencies. As part of its combined plan to reduce passenger rail emissions by 10 percent and bus emissions by 15 percent, RTA reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 24 percent, because of investments in alternatively fueled vehicles.
Dedicated to performance excellence, RTA officials also participate in the Global Reporting Initiative to report on their sustainability programs and disclose their work according to a set of international standards. As part of this, RTA utilized a materiality assessment to inform the agency’s sustainability planning and implementation programs. This assessment helped RTA prioritize initiatives that address the issues most vital to the agency’s success.
RTA was a founding signatory of the APTA Sustainability Commitment in 2009, and received Bronze Level recognition in 2012.
Public transit systems and businesses that voluntarily participate in the APTA Sustainability Commitment program pledge to implement processes and actions that create continuous improvements in environmental, social and economic sustainability. Based on specific measurable achievements, public transit systems and businesses are given Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze Level recognition. Since it began in 2009, nearly 140 public transit agencies and businesses have signed on to the APTA Sustainability Commitment, and 38 signatories have received recognition.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a non-profit international association of more than 1,500 public- and private-sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. Members include transit systems; planning, design, construction and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.