Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WAMATA)
At a Glance
Transport and Warehousing
Isabela Brown helped the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority communicate the sustainability benefits of transit to the region while also supporting performance management and data informed decision-making.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“Metro”) is committed to implementing and advancing policies, programs, and partnerships to make Metro resilient, equitable and fiscally responsible. To contribute to this mission, Metro worked with EDF Climate Corps fellow, Isabela Brown, to develop, track, and visualize energy management and identify potential sustainability metrics. Brown identified energy reduction and sustainability strategies and developed a cost-benefit analysis for electrifying Metro’s non-revenue fleet.
- Sustainability Targets - Brown worked with sustainability staff members to identify and broaden Metro’s sustainability metric program. She was able to leverage her extensive experience in analytics and sustainability to inform research and assist staff in developing a draft proposal for additional metrics to manage social, economic, and environmental impacts of internal operations and Metro’s benefits to the region. Through this work, Metro expanded options to consider for tracking stormwater, air quality, renewable energy investments, and greenhouse gas displacement indicators, among others.
- Internal Energy Action Plan Dashboard - Metro’s Energy Action Plan identifies 47 project investments which will result in an estimated 160,000 metric tons of CO2 avoided and $16 million in cost savings annually by 2025. Metro’s sustainability team sought to increase transparency reporting progress on recommended energy investments across the Authority. Brown developed an internally facing Power BI Dashboard to track project implementation.
- Energy-Saving Analysis - Brown also analyzed strategies that Metro employed or is exploring to reduce energy costs and support sustainability goals. She calculated the energy and cost savings when railcars are disconnected from the third rail to eliminate power consumption and confirmed the findings of a previous analysis on overnight railcar power downs when railcars are turned-off temporarily between night and morning service. In addition, she worked with a client department to develop a draft business case for converting Metro’s box truck fleet from diesel to electric vehicles. Her analysis identified the power needs of these trucks, the location usage rates and length of route, as well as duration possibilities for charging. The business case outlined the feasibility, costs, benefits, and energy savings of a potential conversion and the funding opportunities and regulatory constraints that should be considered as Metro evaluates the readiness of the technology. Brown’s presentation of findings to management triggered further analysis of vehicle usage patterns for good first fit opportunities, increased awareness of the technology opportunity and is an important first step in vehicle transition to zero-emission technology.
Brown’s contributions to the sustainability metrics helps Metro communicate the sustainability benefits of transit to the region while also supporting performance management and data informed decision-making to ensure Metro’s continued value to the region.
The draft internal dashboard for the Energy Action Plan supports project tracking and serves as a platform to educate and empower employees to engage and promote energy-saving technologies and projects.
Brown’s support in analysis of specific energy-saving investments is also impactful. Railcar power down and electrification analyses support future automation of overnight railcar power downs that are already underway. Her research and preliminary business case for electrification of Metro’s box truck fleet both educated and provided a model for similar non-revenue sub-fleet electrification efforts.