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Environmental Commitment

As part of our dedication to serving the public, the RTA purchases environmentally friendly equipment and adopts initiatives and programs that help us reduce our environmental impact on our city, our region, and our planet. Below are some examples of how the RTA is going green.

Fuel Savings and Decreased Vehicle Emissions

  • RTA buses run on B5 bio-diesel fuel. Manufactured from soy oil, biodiesel produces less air pollutants than petroleum-based diesel. For more information about biodiesel fuel, click here.
  • The RTA operates 16 high-capacity articulated buses (also known as “accordion” or “caterpillar” buses), which are all biodiesel/electric hybrids.
  • Buses that sit idle with their engines running waste fuel and release unnecessary emissions. The RTA has trained 360 drivers in an idle reduction program and has incorporated this program into all new driver training. We estimate that the idle reduction program has led to a 12% decrease in fuel consumed per passenger-mile on standard buses and a 4% decrease in fuel consumed per passenger-mile on paratransit buses.
  • All new buses brought into the RTA system use diesel particulate traps which reduce noxious gases.

Vehicle Maintenance

  • For cleaning vehicle parts in our maintenance facilities, the RTA has switched to aqueous-based solvents from naphtha-based (petroleum) solvents, a switch which reduces the introduction of harmful chemicals into sewage.
  • Instead of air, the RTA now fills bus tires with pure nitrogen, a practice which has been shown to increase fuel efficiency by 2-3% and to lengthen tire life.


  • In our administrative offices on Canal Street, the RTA has established a recycling program with recycling containers and stations throughout the building.
  • The RTA has been gradually switching out T-12 fixtures and fluorescent bulbs for T-8 fixtures and fluorescent bulbs, which contain less mercury and are more efficient.
  • The RTA has received a State-of-Good Repair grant from the Federal Transportation Authority for our Napoleon and Carrollton facilities. The grant contains $1 million in line items for the installation of energy-efficient lighting systems at these facilities and additional funds for the installation of an environmentally friendly floor at the Carrollton location.

Better Monitoring of Environmental Efforts

  • The RTA is now maintaining a comprehensive environmental file system.
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