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SamTrans is committed to supporting a more sustainable San Mateo County.

SamTrans promotes sustainability by providing affordable, accessible, environmentally friendly mobility options to move people where they live, work and play. Its Sustainability Program regularly evaluates the agency’s operational impacts on communities and the environment, and finds ways to lessen those impacts. The agency also encourages environmental stewardship in SamTrans’ partners, customers and employees.

Sustainability Benefits of Riding Public Transit
Customers that ride SamTrans promote sustainability in many ways that benefit the community:

• Reducing fuel consumption
• Saving households money[1]
• Mitigating traffic congestion
• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and related climate change impacts
• Improving regional air quality

SamTrans’ Commute Calculator helps estimate how much money customers save by taking SamTrans instead of driving. A Carbon Savings Calculator estimates how taking transit can reduce your carbon footprint.

[1] An average 20-mile trip by car can cost $10-15 (AAA 2014 “Your Driving Costs”)

APTA-Sustainability-Silver-Recognition-logo Sustainability Program Framework
Sustainability is a key component of the San Mateo County Transit District’s vision and Strategic Plan. The District’s Sustainability Policy summarizes our commitment to incorporating sustainability into standard operating procedures and long-term decision-making.

In August 2017 , SamTrans published its first Sustainability Report, which summarizes key environmental sustainability achievements and trends for SamTrans operations in FY2010 through FY2016. Key achievements include:

  • Overall facility energy use declined by more than 26 percent between FY2010 and FY2016;
  • In response to California’s historic drought, SamTrans implemented a number of water-saving conservation measures, and decreased water consumption by more than a third between FY2010 and FY2016; and
  • In FY2016, SamTrans generated 4,754 fewer metric tons of GHGs compared to FY2010. Although ridership has declined during this time period, SamTrans has reduced its overall emissions at a faster pace.

To read the report click HERE (1.90MB, PDF)

The District is a strong supporter of American Public Transportation Association’s Sustainability Program and participates in the annual Sustainability & Public Transportation Workshop as well as APTA’s Sustainability committees. In 2010, the District became a founding signatory to the APTA Sustainability Commitment. In 2011, the District received the APTA Sustainability Commitment Bronze Recognition for its SamTrans bus service. In April 2018, SamTrans bus service received Silver Level recognition. As of May 2018, of the 124 signatories to the sustainability commitment, SamTrans is one of only 46 organizations to have achieved higher-level recognition. As of August 2017, of the 132 signatories to the sustainability commitment, SamTrans is one of only 44 organizations to have achieved higher-level recognition.


In May 2018, the District joined the EPA Green Power Partnership (GPP) to further demonstrate our commitment to renewable energy. The EPA established the GPP to protect human health and the environment by increasing organizations’ voluntary green power use to advance the American market for green power and the development of those renewable electricity sources. The GPP helps to achieve Clean Air Act requirements by reducing the pollution and the corresponding negative health and environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. As of May 2017, SamTrans bus service is using 100% renewable and GHG-free electricity by partnering with Peninsula Clean Energy, San Mateo County’s Community Choice Energy Program.

Sustainability in Action
Click HERE for examples of SamTrans’ commitment to sustainability in operating and maintenance programs, capital projects, long-term planning and everyday business practices.

Board Presentations
Click HERE to view Sustainability Program updates to the SamTrans Board.

Top 10 in 2015
Click HERE for the Top 10 District Sustainability Program highlights from 2015.

Top 6 in 2016
Click HERE for the Top 6 District Sustainability Program highlights from 2016.

Top 5 in 2017
Click HERE for the Top 5 District Sustainability Program highlights from 2017.

6/29/18 - rr/rjc