SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Last week, State Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) presented his March Sustainable North Bay Award to West County Transportation Agency (WCTA) Executive Director Michael Rea.
The agency, based in Santa Rosa, Calif., received the award for its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
WCTA operates under a joint powers agreement formed by 16 school districts in Sonoma County. The agency is a local government cooperative that benefits from shared expertise and economy of scale to provide safe, cost-effective and fuel-efficient school transportation service to member school districts, other school districts and nonprofit community partners that serve youth.
Since 1992, WCTA has been focusing on using alternative fuels and limiting its carbon footprint. It currently has 44 buses and other vehicles powered by compressed natural gas. All of the agency’s diesel exhaust systems have been retrofitted with the highest level particulate trap to reduce particulate emissions. In addition, WCTA has been experimenting with biodiesel fuels, officials said.
The event to honor the agency was held at Lawrence E. Jones Middle School. The school is the newest campus of the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District, and it was constructed with an eye toward energy efficiency, officials said. It has many features that take advantage of natural light, heating and cooling technologies. The school district is also in the process of conducting a solar evaluation with the goal of powering its facilities with renewable power.
“I am very impressed with the steps that the Cotati-Rohnert Park School District and West County Transportation Agency have taken to conserve energy and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions,” Huffman said.
Huffman met with staff from the agency and Cotati-Rohnert Park School District to present the Sustainable North Bay Award to Rea.