Over one million students took the bus within the first two years of the Go Transit Program's initiation.
Riverside’s programs establish a clear path to sustainability, reducing the City’s carbon footprint and improving the quality of life for current and future generations. The success of the programs below demonstrates the determination of Riverside’s residents and their commitment to a healthier, greener planet.
Grease to Gas to Power project:
In 2005, Riverside began its award-winning Grease to Gas to Power project in which the City began collecting grease wastewater from restaurants to feed into the anaerobic digestion process. During the anaerobic digestion process, methane-creating microbes feast on the wastewater solids to create gas. The gas is then treated and used for power. The project generates about 1.6 megawatts per day, enough electrical power in one day to provide the electrical needs of 1,200 homes for one month in Riverside. The project’s effects on the sewer system were equally favorable; sanitary sewer overflows caused by restaurant grease blockages were reduced from 30% of all calls to less than 1%. One of the main goals of the project was to reduce dependence on natural gas, which it has done successfully; natural gas requirements have decreased by 80% at the facility. The energy cost savings generated by this project save the City almost $1 million per year.
Riverside Renaissance program:
Adopted in 2006, Riverside Renaissance is a $1.57 billion investment in Riverside’s future, making it the most ambitious public investment program in the City’s history. The purpose of the Renaissance is to invest in the local economy while improving the City’s infrastructure, making Riverside more energy and water efficient, reducing emissions and better positioning the City to meet the needs of the future.
The Renaissance is responsible for improving traffic flow, replacing aging water, sewer, and electric infrastructure, and expanding and improving police, fire, parks, library, and other community facilities, which enhance the general quality of life for residents, businesses, and visitors. The aggressive program endeavors to complete more projects in five years than were completed over the last 30; as of 2011, 90% of the projects were underway, with 60% fully completed. In addition to water and energy infrastructure, the Renaissance program has led to the construction of several over- and underpasses which reduce vehicle idle times, fuel consumption and ultimately, greenhouse gas emissions throughout the City. Over the course of its five-year run, the Renaissance created 28,000 construction jobs, and City efforts and incentives have created or saved hundreds of private-sector jobs.
Green Builder Program:
In 2007, Riverside began its Green Builder Program (RGB) - the first, and now the largest, in California. This voluntary program provides builders with an incentive to tap into the green building market while offering potential homeowners a chance to purchase eco-friendly living space. RGB allows builders to differentiate themselves through certification as a Green Builder, which may be obtained by meeting several criteria. Green Builders must satisfy strict energy and water efficiency requirements, recycle at least 50% of construction waste, and 100% of the wood used in the home must be certified sustainable forest products.
Go Transit Program:
The City’s Go Transit program offers up to a 30% discount for residents, subsidies for senior citizens, and free passes to City employees and students who take the bus. Over one million students took the bus in the first two years alone.