March 12, 2012

Web Extra: Has your U. transit system employed new green practices?

It looks like fueling conversion is the way to go for many university transit systems to not only reduce their carbon footprint but noise pollution as well. We asked operators about any green practices they recently implemented.

Here are their responses:

“One of our biggest accomplishments, in my opinion, is we were one of the first institutions of higher education to convert all of our transit, our bus fleet, to biodiesel, B20. There was another university that started it but we were the first one to do the whole fleet. We have continued the practice from 2003 to present. With our last new bus punches we switched from the traditional hydraulic radiator cooling fans to an electric fan. This change generated an additional 10% in fuel reduction.”

Bryan Flansburg, director of transportation services, Buff Bus
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, Colo.


“The electric shuttle is under way…that’s probably a year from now. We are also converting all of our diesel fleet to compressed natural gas. That will significantly lower our carbon footprint. We’re about one-third of the way through it. We basically have to pay for these through parking permits fees and things like that so it takes us a while. We usually buy about two shuttles a year, and we’ve got a fleet of about 28 shuttles. About eight of them are now converted over.”

Alma Allred, director, university community services
University of Utah
Salt Lake City



“MTD has added hybrid diesel-electric 60-foot buses to its fleet providing service to the University of Illinois campus. Now, 25% of the 60-foot fleet are hybrids, and future vehicles purchased will also be hybrids. In addition to saving fuel, hybrids generate lower levels of pollutants and are significantly quieter, reducing noise pollution. MTD will be participating in a Go Green on Green Street event in April to encourage use of public transportation and bicycling.”

Jan Kijowski, marketing director
Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
Urbana, Ill.


“Our shuttles have now all been transformed over to propane. We have five university vans and five shuttle buses. We went through the conversion process last summer.”

Natalia Green, director of parking services
University of Richmond, Va.
Richmond, Va.

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