Long Beach Transit (LBT) has received a $600,000 grant from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Near Zero Incentive Program for the purchase of 40 “near zero” compressed natural gas (CNG) engines. The Long Beach, Calif.-based transit agency says the engines are upgrades to a recent bus procurement, as the “near zero” engines were not available when the purchase was authorized in 2016. According to LBT, the buses will be equipped with the Cummins Westport 8.9 liter engine that is certified by the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to meet or exceed optional and more stringent near zero standards. LBT notes it has a long history of using innovative technologies to promote clean air in its service area, which includes 13 cities and 100 square miles. When diesel buses were standard throughout the industry, LBT was an early adopter of particulate traps to prevent harmful matter from escaping from the exhaust. In the mid-2000s, LBT began to step away from diesel and purchased gasoline-hybrid buses, and in 2012, LBT purchased its first CNG-powered buses. In March, the transit agency also began battery-electric bus service on its Passport Route. According to an agency spokesperson, LBT currently has 85 CNG buses in its service and a contingency fleet of 253 buses. Photo courtesy of LBT: One of the transit agency’s 60-foot articulated CNG buses all decked out in Chargers Express livery, as these buses are used to take fans to LA Chargers football games at the StubHub Center.