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PVTA paints the valley green with fleet of eco-friendly buses

The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority received six new 40-foot buses this July, which have all been updated to make them greener.

The new buses come with Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, large access doors, LED lighting and security cameras.

In addition to these updates, all buses running for the PVTA use Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF’s) and Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel (ULSD).  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, DPF’s reduce emissions of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, which contribute to air pollution, by 60 to 90 percent. These filters require the use of ULSD, which is a cleaner-burning diesel fuel that allows advanced pollution control technology in trucks and buses.

The new buses, each of which have a 12 year life-span, were brought in to replace six from the older fleet.

“After 12 years, if the buses have life left we reuse the parts, if not we scrap them,” said Jill Holliday, Director of Marketing at the PVTA and a 1983 UMass graduate.

The PVTA also employs other environmentally friendly techniques.

“We recycle waste oil parts, use energy efficient lighting and have solar panels at some of the bus stops,” said Holliday.

She added, “We are very environmentally conscious as an authority. Some of the supervisors’ vehicles are hybrids.”

Certain students expressed their appreciation of the PVTA’s effort to go green.

“I think it’s really great because multiple buses are driving all day throughout campus. The fact that they’re trying to reduce their emissions is a good start, and it helps other people be aware of the environment,” said UMass senior Catherine Berkman.

Other students are looking forward to the greater efficiency provided by the new buses.

“Sometimes the buses don’t run on time… they have problems because they’re a bit old,” said UMass junior Alicia LaRosa.  “It’ll be nice to see everything run better and last longer.”

Three of these buses will operate from the Northampton garage, and three will operate from the UMass garage.  They are currently running routes.
For additional information visit www.pvta.com or call toll free 1-877-779-7882.

Danielle Kahn can be reached at dkahn@student.umass.edu.

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