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

BYD zero-emission buses used to transport 2015 World Games athletes

Both the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach have opted to purchase 100% battery-electric transit buses from BYD Motors in each of their latest procurements.

BusCon 2015 to offer perspective on the bus industry’s fastest growing customer base

This event offers one location where anyone involved with buses, including public transit and private companies, can meet to build business connections, learn from successful leaders in the field and discover new solutions to the everyday challenges they face.

CHK America completes first tier of GRTC bus stop signage improvements

Tier One modernizes 300 stops along two of GRTC’s busiest routes with each stop receiving upgrades that include new flags with clearly visible route and bus stop numbers as well as eye-level, easy-to-use printed schedule and map information.

Transit management expert to inspire at BusCon 2015 keynote address

The keynote address, “Driving Excellence” will be delivered on Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m. by Mark Aesch, CEO of TransPro, a management consultancy that guides transit systems.

Port Authority to realign gates at NYC bus terminal

The changes are aimed at improving bus operations and reducing congestion in the terminal that can stretch back out into the inbound Lincoln Tunnel and beyond.

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 resource for managers of class 1-7 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