Calif.-based Visalia Transit was recognized for environmental stewardship by earning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification for its transit center. This recognition signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict performance levels set by the EPA. Visalia Transit has also added seven new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to its fleet, making its entire fixed-route and Dial-A-Ride fleet run on alternative fuel.
Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The Visalia Transit Center improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its building.
“Through this achievement, along with our new buses, we have demonstrated our commitment to being environmentally conscious,” said Visalia Transit Manager Monty Cox.
Funding for the seven new CNG buses came from a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant obtained by the City. These buses will replace older diesel buses, as recommended in the Short Range Transit Plan. This vehicle purchase is another big step toward Visalia Transit’s fleet operating solely on alternative fuel. In the future, Visalia Transit hopes to add electric buses to its fleet as well, now that new battery technology allows these electric buses to run a full day on a single charge.