METRO Goes Green
It’s time someone sat down for the environment.
Yes. You read correctly. We all take a stand for the things we believe. Sometimes all that standing can get a little tiring, no? So, rest up on a METRO bus, help Mother Earth and plan how you’ll change the world from your bus seat.
Did you know public transportation saves the U.S. the equivalent of 4.2 billion gallons of gas annually? This is more than three times the amount of gasoline refined from oil we import from Kuwait!
Riding public transportation is a significant way to cut passenger transportation energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
Each year, transit passengers reduce their own use of fuel by the equivalent of 1.8 billion gallons of gasoline and reduce their own carbon dioxide emissions by 16.2 million metric tons.
Combined with savings from improved traffic flow due to transit’s impact on reducing congestion and secondary land use and travel reduction impacts, transit reduces annual fuel use by the equivalent of 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline and cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 37 million metric tons. That’s pretty impressive.
Our Transit Center
Speaking of impressive, METRO uses some pretty nifty technology to green it’s Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center.
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Completed in January 2009, the Transit Center in downtown Akron uses 435 solar panels to generate energy. By April, 2010, the panels had generated almost 150,000 kilowatt hours worth of power. That’s roughly the energy you’d need to run a television set for about 190 years.
Lest you think our solar purpose is only concerning our Transit Center, in September 2010, we flipped the switch on 2,080 solar panels installed on the roof of our Kenmore Blvd. bus garages. You may also monitor the energy those panels create.
Sunk 305 feet into the ground, geothermal wells – 45 of them to be exact – keep the property nice and toasty in the winter and cool in the summer. We recycle rainwater and use it for landscaping and non-potable purposes in our rest rooms.
In addition to recycling rainwater, we recycle just about everything we can. Where feasible, recycled materials, like concrete, were used in the Center’s design. You’ll also notice recycling receptacles in key locations around the Transit Center. Pitch in your bottles and cans. But, please empty them first. We can’t recycle your soda or juice!
Each day, METRO passengers make more than 22,000 trips to work, school, medical appointments & other places. Can you imagine the traffic snarl if all those trips were made with cars instead?
On average, the typical public transit rider consumes half the oil an automobile owner consumes. That’s good news.
Nearly 90 percent of METRO passengers get to their buses using good old fashioned foot power, either walking or riding a bike. Your ridership helps METRO help the environment. So, we’ll see you on the bus!
Here are some quick facts on how METRO and public transportation are the environment’s best friends:
- We’ve incorporated diesel-electric hybrid buses into our fleet. These buses use regenerative braking systems to power up.
- Our bus garages house more than 3,000 solar panels, one of the larger arrays in our tri-state area.
- Not only are the bus garages going green, our Transit Center is built from recycled materials, runs on sunshine, warms up with geothermal power and stays hydrated with recycled rainwater.
- Compressed natural gas and low-sulfur diesel fuels run METRO buses. These fuels release fewer hydrocarbons than gasoline.
- METRO buses are equipped with bike racks, so you can reduce your emissions on the way to your bus stop.
For those of you who don’t ride the bus, you can still help the environment by fueling your CNG-powered vehicle or electric car at the public CNG Fueling Station and Electric Car Charging Station, located at 310 Kenmore Boulevard.
Operated by Clean Energy, both stations are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The CNG Fueling Station accepts all major credit cards, and those using the Electric Car Charging Station can register at chargepoint.com or download the ChargePoint app to start charging.
Several area industries utilize the public station to fuel their CNG-powered vehicles, such as garbage trucks, airport shuttles, heavy duty trucks and buses from other transit agencies.
The station alone has helped METRO contribute to avoiding 4,310 kilograms of greenhouse emissions. That’s like planting 138 trees and letting them grow for 10 years!