Technological watch

TransLink introduces renewable diesel in bus fleet

TransLink is set to pioneer a green revolution by introducing renewable diesel into its bus fleet, marking a significant step towards a sustainable future and a substantial 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Credit: TransLink

TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority, has announced that it is set to revolutionise its bus fleet by incorporating renewable diesel as a cleaner fuel option. This environmentally friendly initiative aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions significantly, with the Surrey Transit Centre leading the charge as the first depot to transition entirely to renewable diesel by 1 January 2024.

Renewable diesel, derived from organic waste such as used cooking oil, waste animal fats and vegetable oils, is hailed as a low-carbon fuel. It boasts an impressive 80% reduction in GHG emissions compared to traditional fossil fuel diesel, contributing to TransLink’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn said: “By introducing renewable diesel to our bus fleet, we’re doing our part to move away from fossil fuels. Renewable diesel will deliver rapid GHG reductions while we work to electrify our fleet.”

The transition at the Surrey Transit Centre alone is projected to result in a reduction of 6,550 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to removing 1,900 passenger vehicles from the road. This represents a significant step towards achieving TransLink’s ambitious Climate Action Strategy goals, including a 45% reduction in GHGs by 2030 (from 2010 levels) and a commitment to a zero-emission fleet by 2040.

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TransLink has also announced that additional transit centres are slated to adopt renewable diesel starting in 2024. The feasibility of using renewable diesel for the West Coast Express and SeaBus is also under careful consideration.

With an expanding SkyTrain network and a fleet of 280 trolley-electric and battery electric buses, TransLink is providing a robust network of zero emissions transportation options for its customers. The construction of the first all-electric transit centre in Marpole, Vancouver, is already underway and is expected to be completed by 2027. TransLink is gearing up to deploy a total of 460 battery electric buses by 2030.

According to TransLink, cars, light trucks and SUVs contribute to one-third of GHG emissions in Metro Vancouver, while the agency’s operations account for just 1% of regional emissions. Diesel vehicles, previously responsible for 64% of TransLink’s total GHG emissions, will see a substantial reduction with the adoption of renewable diesel.

Publication date: 15/12/2023

Intelligent Transport


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.