Monroe Transit Recipient of DEQ Environmental Leadership Award for Green Initiatives
In 2009 Monroe Transit was awarded for its green initiatives with an ELP Municipality Achievement Award in Pollution Prevention. The award, presented by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Equality (DEQ), recognizes the achievement of the following milestones:
- Taking steps to decrease the amount of emissions produced by city vehicles by introduction of biodiesel fuel as an option
- Purchasing buses with particulate filters
- Purchasing a hybrid vehicle with a low emission vehicle (LEV) rating
- Promoting ridership to decrease the number of automobiles on the road
Public Transit and Environmental Conservation
Public transit plays a large role in conserving energy and the environment. By using public transit, individuals can greatly reduce the pollution generated by his/her travel and minimize oil consumption. A typical public transit rider consumes an average of one half the oil consumed by an automobile rider. Reduced oil consumption translates into reduced pollution and cleaner air. Public transportation produces 95% less carbon monoxide, 90% less volatile organic compounds, and nearly 50% less carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide per passenger mile than private vehicles. Additionally, public transportation use in the U.S. saves 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline each year. This equates to 300,000 fewer automobile fill-ups every day, reducing our nation's dependence on foreign oil. Utilizing greener technologies is economically and environmentally smart. Monroe Transit is proud to make an investment in cleaner air for our future.
Getting On Board the Green Movement
All transit systems share a primary goal of reducing pollution by decreasing the amount of single occupancy vehicles on the road. Steady increases in ridership over the last few years have contributed to Monroe Transit reaching this goal but we wanted to do more. In 2005, we began taking additional steps to decrease pollution in our community by focusing on ways that we ourselves could reduce the amount of emission produced by our own vehicles. We began using a 5% blend of biodiesel fuel in our buses and ensured that all our buses were equipped with a diesel particulate filter. The use of bio-diesel fuel greatly increases the conservation benefits of public transit.
Cleaner Air for our Future
In April 2009, Monroe Transit took a huge step in demonstrating our commitment to improving the air quality in our community by purchasing our first hybrid bus. Monroe Transit was the first transit system in Louisiana to operate a hybrid. In researching the facts, we determined that going hybrid was a step we were ready to take.
According to Gillig, the hybrid bus manufacturer, "The main reason hybrid electric technology is so appealing for transit buses is that it helps overcome the most problematic part of transit service-it's a stop-and-go duty cycle. Hybrid buses use significantly less fuel and are more efficient and much quieter than conventional buses, while also producing significantly fewer emissions."
The Hybrid bus has shown us how our focus on protecting the environment can simultaneously encourage others to do their part. Going green is a win-win-win for Monroe Transit, our community and our environment.