Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and the City of Kansas City have been recognized for Kansas City's efforts to address the climate crisis through Kansas City's Zero Fare Transit Initiative. During the U.S. Conference of Mayors' 90th Annual Meeting in Reno, Nev., Mayor Lucas was presented with the 2022 Mayors' Climate Protection Award and a $25,000 check to allocate to a climate initiative of his choice.

"As someone who grew up with a single mom who relied on bus transportation for all of our family's transit needs during many periods of my childhood, I know firsthand how vital safe and reliable public transportation is to so many in our community," said Mayor Lucas. "I am proud Kansas City's first-of-its-kind Zero Fare Transit initiative is being recognized today with the Mayors' Climate Protection Award as we continue our work to increase mobility for all Kansas Citians, all Missourians, and all Americans. Since Kansas City became the first major American city to make all public transportation fare free through Zero Fare Transit, I have spoken with mayors from every corner of the country who are interested in or have begun implementing a similar program in their communities — putting hundreds of dollars per year back in Americans' hands and reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the same time."

"Kansas City is proud to be a public transit city," continued Mayor Lucas. "Over the past several years, in an uncertain time when it would have been easier to slice transit budgets or delay transit projects, Kansas City has doubled-down on our commitment to provide Zero Fare Transit to all residents; has committed to upgrading our entire City-owned vehicle fleet to a low- or no-emissions fleet; secured local and federal funding to expand our fare-free KC Streetcar in both directions, months ahead of schedule; and has made substantial progress on our new state-of-the-art airport terminal, which remains on time and on budget. I will continue to advocate for climate-conscious transit projects in Kansas City and across our country, especially as bipartisan infrastructure bill dollars start to hit the streets."

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The award winners are the 16th class of mayors to be honored for successful local climate action, changing how energy is used and produced in cities, resulting in reduced carbon use and emissions. Suisun City, Calif., Mayor Pro Temp Alma Hernandez also took home a climate award.

"Mayors Lucas and Hernandez are showing how to make better use of our nation's existing energy resources and expand our clean energy supplies," said USCM President Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. "These award-winning cities – and others across the nation – are embracing energy innovations, deploying cutting-edge technologies, and developing more renewable energy, making our cities healthier and more prosperous today and in the future."

The USCM is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more.

The City has been taking action across the board to increase sustainability:
  • Commitment to buy only electric vehicles for the city fleet
  • Converting 90,000 streetlights to modern LED lights will reduce energy and maintenance costs, lower the City's energy use and carbon footprint, and improve public safety.
  • Writing a new and more equitable Climate Protection & Resiliency Plan with widespread community input
  • Becoming a carbon-neutral city by 2040
  • Feasibility study underway to build the largest city-owned solar farm in the country on thousands of acres at Kansas City International Airport.

Additionally, on Monday the public is invited to learn more about a new program to provide lower-cost solar installations on homes and businesses through the Solarize KC campaign. Join us on Monday, June 6, at 6 p.m. at the Operation Breakthrough Ignition Lab, 3039 Troost Avenue, KCMO.

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Members of the media who would like more information about the award or an interview with Mayor Lucas, can contact Jazzlyn Johnson at (816) 929-1289. For more information about the City's climate protection initiatives, please contact" rel="nofollow external noopener">or the Office of Environmental Quality.

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