METRO Going Green
It’s a Fact
More than one million people have moved to the Greater Houston area over the past 10 years. And with the region’s population continuing to rocket skyward, METRO is taking the lead to reduce traffic congestion on our roadways and help “clear the air” for us all.
Green is Good
Going green is more than just a catchy phrase; it’s a way of life that METRO has adopted and is continuing to build on every day. Of course, no matter how you look at it, everything begins with our buses. METRO currently operates a fleet of more than 1,230 buses – and approximately 40 percent of our fleet has been converted to hybrid technology.
METRO's modern fleet features more than 440 clean-running, diesel-electric hybrid buses:
- Economical – buses use less diesel and reduce fuel costs
- Low Maintenance – require less maintenance, resulting in overall lower operating cost
- Clean – nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are reduced by as much as 50 percent
- Quiet – noise levels rival that of a passenger car
- Smooth – riders will find the hybrid buses more comfortable
- Clean Energy – hybrid buses draw from two energy
sources: a clean-diesel, heavy-duty engine combined with a drive unit
and electric energy from batteries located on the roof of the vehicle
- Traffic-friendly – the diesel-electric system
works well in frequent stop-and-go service due to the electrically
driven propulsion system, which has high torque at low speeds, providing
smooth and fast acceleration
Environmentally-friendly Vehicles & Light-rail
Replacing our older buses with new, fuel-efficient, environmentally-friendly vehicles was merely the first step.
The METRO Red Line, our region’s first light-rail line, was extended in 2013, and the Green Line (East End) and the Purple Line (Southeast) were completed in 2015. Together, we have approximately 23 miles of rail and our fleet consists of 76 light-rail vehicles.
Going the Extra Green Mile
Diesel-electric hybrid buses and METRORail are just two of the ity’s most prominent efforts, but METRO is also working green behind the scenes:
METRO recycles the water it uses to clean its fleet of 1,230 buses.
METRO regularly recycles all scrap metal, tires, batteries, wood palettes and motor oil. Older buses are also being “scrapped,” as opposed to reselling.
METRO uses green-tipped fluorescent lamps, which contain lower levels of mercury, to light its facilities.
Limited Idle Time
METRO buses have been designed to automatically shut down when sitting idle for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
From the road to rail and all of our facilities in between, METRO is making a conscious effort to efficiently minimize its impact on the environment.
Bikes on Buses
When two wheels just aren’t enough, METRO’s bikes-on-buses program affords cyclists the convenience of mounting their bike on the front of our local buses (limit two per bus) or storing it in the luggage compartment of our commuter buses. Cyclists may also bring their bike aboard METRORail.
Please note that bicycle space on all METRO vehicles is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
When our buses or trains aren’t an option, METRO helps commuters “go green” by forming vanpools through the Star vanpool program. Star vans offer commuters without convenient bus service options from communities and/or to work locations in the eight-county region (Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Waller, Montgomery, Liberty and Chambers). Currently, 708 Star vans carry more than 7,000 riders, totaling more than 200,000 trips each month.
Annually, the vanpool program is responsible for helping to eliminate more than 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 500 tons of carbon monoxide, 65 tons of hydrocarbons and 45 tons of nitrous oxides that might otherwise be emitted by the vehicles they displace.
Get onboard with a METRO STAR vanpool today for more details.
You Can Make a Difference
According to the Federal Transit Administration, the average American produces 20 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year – that’s 121 pounds every day. One person really can make a difference. Even if you park your vehicle just one day a week and “go green” with one of the aforementioned services, you can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the environment.
See this fact and others at https://www.transit.dot.gov.