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NYC Transit's Clean-Air Bus Fleet

Esaura Alcantara: I'm Esaura Alcantara and you're listening to a "Going Your Way Greener" podcast on TransitTrax, New York City Transit's podcast service"

(SOUND: Bus pulling away.)

Listen closely and you'll hear the sound of cleaner air.

(SOUND: Bus driving down the road.)


That's right. New York City Transit's bus fleet has come a long way from the black, smoke-belching buses of years past. Today, it is one of, if not the, cleanest bus fleets in North America, and it all starts with the engine, and the fuel it uses. At New York City Transit, we're using state-of-the-art engine technology to move our 2-milion daily customers while keeping the air we all breathe as clean as possible. Michael Snisky explains.

Michael Snisky, Department of Buses: This is the Series 50 with EGR, which allows us to take hot exhaust gases from the turbo charger around into a cooler, and then back into the intake, of the motor, which allows us to get rid of a lot of soot particles. By allowing us to use special filters and heating elements that will change these soot particulates into non-harmful gases.

Esaura Alcantara: Key to the cleaner and more efficient operation of our 3, 500 standard diesel fleet is the use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel, a cleaner burning alternative to regular diesel fuel. It's used in all traditional diesel engine buses, and our 540 and growing Hybrid Diesel electric buses. With 800 on order, New York City Transit would operate the largest fleet of Hybrid Diesel electric buses in North America. The bus not only produces fewer emissions, it also produces some of the energy the bus needs to operate. Steve Tilyou, with Lockheed Martin explains.

Steve Tilyou, Lockheed Martin: It's driven by an electric motor, there's a 3 phased, 250 horse AC induction motor connected directly to the differential. And small diesel engine, same one that's put in the Ford F 250 diesel pick-up truck that turns the generator. There's no transmission. All the electricity produced, energy produced by the generator goes into the batteries and propels the vehicle.

Esaura Alcantara: In addition to the clean fuel and hybrid buses, New York City Transit also has a fleet of 478 compressed natural gas buses. Andy Janusus is a former alternative fuel specialist.

Andy Janusus, Alternative Fuel Specialist: The biggest advantage of CNG is that it's the cleanest burning fuel compared to diesel and older diesel buses. CNG Buses that we are having delivered here are designed to last the same lifetime as a diesel bus would and to be handled and maintained in the same fashion as a diesel bus would.

Esaura Alcantara: So the next time you take a bus ride, you can breathe a little easier knowing that New York City Transit uses 100-percent clean air technology. For more information on New York City Transit's role in helping to make the air we breathe cleaner, and other sustainability programs, log on to www.mta.info, and click on MTA Sustainability Initiatives.

For TransitTrax, I'm Esaura Alcantara. Thanks for listening and thanks for riding with New York City Transit.