The benefits of public transit directly make a positive impact on the environment by saving fuel, lowering an individual’s carbon footprint and by reducing vehicle congestion on area roadways.
BATA is a leader in environmentally friendly transportation by utilizing alternative fueled vehicles. One way BATA emphasizes green public transportation is by using propane fueled buses.
- Propane Powered: 52% of BATA’s fleet (39 vehicles) runs on propane.
- Clean and Green Technology: Propane provides a 24% reduction in Greenhouse Gas, a 20% reduction in Nitrogen Oxide and a 60% reduction in Carbon Monoxide when compared to gasoline emissions.*
- Local Fuel Source: Propane is a domestic and abundant fuel source reducing foreign oil dependency.
- Fuel Savings: Propane pricing can be locked in to better manage costs and budget fuel expenses more accurately.
- Lower Maintenance and Operating Costs: Propane provides less wear and tear on engines and transmissions when compared to gas and diesel buses.
Each propane bus has been outfitted with LED lighting, back-up sensors, bike racks and BATA’s on-board technologies such as electronic fare boxes and tablets that improve the rider and driver experience. BATA has plans to further expand its propane fleet as vehicles become available and has three electric vehicles on order from the manufacturer that it hopes to receive delivery of in early 2024 further expanding its green fleet.
“BATA riders can celebrate Earth Day everyday they use public transit knowing they are choosing an environmentally friendly transportation option,” said Kelly Dunham, BATA Executive Director. “Public transit is just one climate-friendly option and using it encourages people to utilize other forms of green transportation including biking, walking and carpooling.”
BATA’s Hall Street Transfer Station was one of the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings in downtown Traverse City when it was completed in 2006. The LEED Green Building Rating SystemTM is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. The Hall Street Transfer Station’s green features include:
- Repurposing an existing Brownfield site
- Incorporating design features that reduce light pollution and focus on energy efficiency such as maximizing the use of natural lighting and efficient HVAC systems
- Using locally sourced and low emitting VOC (volatile organic compound) building materials
- Emphasizing water efficiency with no irrigation landscaping and low flow faucets, toilets and waterless urinals.
The location of BATA’s new operations center located on corner of LaFranier and Hammond Roads in Garfield Township will put an emphasis on conservation. Twenty acres of the 50-acre parcel are being set aside for permanent preservation of wooded wetland protecting the headwaters of Mitchell Creek. The goal is for the wetland areas throughout the parcels to be conserved through easements granted to a local conservation organization with the hope of creating a nature preserve. BATA’s new headquarters will also be a green-ready facility built to accommodate the future electrification of its transit fleet.
More than 15 bus stops throughout BATA’s network have lighting elements that are powered by the sun. BATA has both solar powered bus shelters and “SolStop” benches that have solar panels that power LED lights and can be activated while waiting for the bus. Learn more here!
Environmental Benefits of Public Transit
According to the 2021 UCLA report on the 5 Environmental Benefits of Sustainable Transportation, public transit makes a positive impact on the environment and the climate by helping reduce pollution, create healthier communities and reducing the number of cars on the road. Every vehicle on the road releases an average of one pound of CO2 per mile driven. Compared with driving alone, taking public transportation reduces CO2 emissions by 45%, decreasing pollutants in the atmosphere and improving air quality. It's estimated that public transportation in the U.S. saves 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
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