DART Introduces New Environmentally Friendly Buses
By Emily Sims / firstname.lastname@example.org
Riding the bus already shrinks your carbon footprint, but DART has found a way to make it even smaller.
On Jan. 28, 2013, DART introduced its new generation of buses. These new buses feature a multitude of environmentally friendly upgrades like better window tinting and color LED destination signs. There is even increased legroom. But the biggest impact these buses will have is that they run on compressed natural gas, which DART is expecting to decrease its annual fuel costs by two-thirds.
The release of the buses is all part of DART's clean transit fuels program. I spoke with Mark Ball, head of DART's media relations, who said that the idea for the program was conceptualized in 2009 when the board voted to switch to a more environment friendly type of fuel.
The first vehicles to make the switch were the smaller Paratransit buses that were placed into service in September of 2012. The release of the new buses is the latest phase of the program that will conclude with the replacement of all current buses with the compressed natural gas buses.
Personally, I like to think of my self as environmentally conscious. I recycle, never leave the lights on when leaving a room, and bought a fuel-efficient car. However, as a Dallas native, I have never considered public transportation when deciding how to get around the city. Just from observing the traffic I would say that most Dallas residences do the same. And it is not a good thing.
I decided to ride one of the new buses and experience it for myself. I rode the Rapid Ride Route 987, which runs from the Royal Lane Station to Downtown Garland. I must say the new buses are extremely nice. The model reminds me of the buses I saw when traveling in London, however they are not two stories. They are more spacious, very clean, and information was digitally displayed.
I wonder if these new, modern, environmentally friendly buses will give people, especially those who have gone green, an incentive to start taking the bus. I know I am thinking about it.
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