Rogue Valley Transportation District looks at a green energy future

June 14, 2019. Private transportation is the biggest contributor to global warming, so a main goal of Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) is getting people out of their cars by increasing bus routes and reliability — and working toward more eco-friendly sources of bus power, such as hydrogen.

   To get the vision out to the public — and to hear ideas from people — RVTD and Southern Oregon Climate Action Now will hold a joint meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the Medford library, 205 S. Central Ave. It’s free and open to the public.

   RVTD has recently received funding increases that can significantly improve service and reduce greenhouse gases by cutting VMT — vehicle miles traveled — in the valley, noted SOCAN co-facilitator Alan Journet.

   “We’re well aware that buses in the U.S. run without many people,” Journet said. “Other countries drive cars much fewer miles per capita because their system is more efficient and population density higher. We need to make mass transit more efficient and work toward electric, as Europe is doing.”

   RVTD Chairwoman Tonia Moro, a presenter at the upcoming meeting, said three board members just came back from a green energy conference, where they were educated and inspired by new technology, including increasing the shift from diesel and compressed natural gas to renewable natural gas and seeking more state funding for an expanded bus fleet that uses renewable natural gas.

   RVTD will be publishing a request for proposals to “analyze and identify preferred fuels and means to get capital investment to obtain zero emissions” by a desired date, Moro said.