Bus

Illinois' Metrolink sends sustainability message

Posted on October 2, 2012

Photo by Rick Haney
Photo by Rick Haney
With a steady focus on sustainability, Rock Island County-based Metrolink provides a reliable alternative to the automobile for eight communities on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities area along the Mississippi River.

The agency began using compressed natural gas (CNG) buses in 2000, which was a cutting-edge decision for a system of its size, according to Jennifer Garrity, manager of administration for Metrolink.

“We have always considered ourselves a leading force in pushing the sustainability initiative in our community, whether it’s through the use of CNG buses or through our marketing campaigns, which feature the tagline ‘Save Something Green,’” said Garrity.

The agency now has a fleet mix comprised of 70% CNG and 30% clean diesel, with a handful of hybrid-electric paratransit vehicles. Garrity explained that the agency is also keeping its eye on hybrid-electric and all-electric vehicles.

“We are keeping an eye out on all the emerging technologies in the market, and might be able to incorporate various types of [alternatively-propelled] vehicles into our fleet,” she said.

Maintaining its sustainability practices, Metrolink is currently building three facilities expected to attain various levels of LEED certification — a transit maintenance facility (at least LEED Silver), a passenger rail station (LEED Silver) and a transfer center in downtown Rock Island (LEED certification only).

Proof of the effectiveness of Metrolink’s efforts is, as they say, in the pudding. The agency has seen ridership grow by about 30% over the last three years, according to Garrity. A big catalyst to this growth has been a slight revamping of services, including increased frequencies on its Main Line and realigned routes to reduce transfers.

Another big factor has been partnerships between Metrolink and three area colleges and universities, which offer students free rides on any of its routes, simply by presenting their campus IDs. One college that has partnered with Metrolink has seen usage grow by 300% over the last year, with another in the 50% to 75% range.

Metrolink will receive the Outstanding Public Transportation System Award for an agency with four million or fewer passenger trips annually.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

FTA confirmed to speak on new bus testing rule, more at BusCon 2016

A Transit Maintenance Forum pass is $98 and includes the forum as well as access to BusCon’s full educational program, the exhibit hall full of buses, networking event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and much more.

Forest River ranks Top 3 Spots in Ford's top volume accounts

Starcraft Bus, Elkhart Coach and Glaval Bus finished first, second and third, respectively.

Tripling of insurance premiums confronts bus drivers in labor dispute

The cost of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan coverage for The Rapid drivers is proposed to spike 49 percent Oct. 1, pushing up monthly premiums for family coverage by $669.

CapMetro plan would nearly triple high-frequency routes

The changes recommended in the Connections 2025 draft plan would be implemented in phases over the next 10 years.

French bus operator becomes first in Europe to accept Bitcoin

Isilines, a new long-distance passenger transport division of Transdev Group, has been using Bitcoin as a method of payment alongside traditional credit card payments on its website since early August.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close