Big environmental concerns in Big D.
Dallas-Fort Worth is the fastest-growing, fourth-largest and fifth most-congested metro in the country. Being big certainly has its upside, but it also has its price. As population has increased, so has pollution. It will take small sacrifices on each of our parts to change this.
Bucking the trend.
One important part of the "go green" movement is public transit. DART helps commuters curb pollution. By riding instead of driving, commuters not only help the environment, they also limit wear and tear on their cars, lower auto expenses and eliminate the stress of stop-and-go driving.
Cleaning up the streets.
DART's clean fuel technology program is leading the way in the transit industry. The agency invested $25 million to cut bus emissions by 68% over the past decade. Also, up to 452 advanced technology buses will be delivered starting in 2013. These new buses will reduce current fleet NOx emissions - a precursor to ozone pollution - by at least 90%.
Turning a transit boom into a pollution bust.
DART recently expanded its HOV lane network to 84 miles. Designated for buses, vanpools, carpools with two or more occupants as well as motorcycles, these lanes reduce pollutant emissions by more than 5,000 pounds each weekday. Meanwhile, the new 28-mile DART Rail Green Line will reduce smog-causing vehicle emissions by more than 350 tons annually by 2025. Also, DART's Vanpool program now boasts more than 1,500 participants. Think of how many vehicles that takes off the road!
Partnering for a better metroplex.
DART is a founding member of the North Texas Clean Air Coalition, a group which encourages voluntary efforts to improve air quality in our region by educating, motivating and recognizing the business community. DART supports the NTCAC in many ways, from participating in the group's annual efforts like tryparkingit.com to informing businesses about the benefits of employer-sponsored commute options. Learn more about the NTCAC at workingforcleanair.org.
Fueling a cleaner tomorrow.
By bus or by train, DART is a greener way to go. DART Rail trains have the same emissions as a golf cart - which is next to nothing. DART buses use 8.7% less energy per passenger mile than a typical car, while a train uses up to 23.7% less. DART also makes for more green in your wallet. According to the American Public Transit Association, the typical household using public transit saves more than $9,000 per year!
Putting the wheels on the bus.
Thanks to a $770,000 grant from the North Central Texas Council of Governments, DART has installed bike racks on more than 550 buses. Mounted on the front of the vehicle, these racks make it even easier for cyclists to take their bikes wherever they go. Also, this grant is funding additional bike lockers at rail stations and transit centers.
Maintaining the environment
DART's maintenance department is committed to environmental awareness. For starters, DART recycles all antifreeze and cleaning solvents. All buses are washed using recycled water to reduce water usage. The water used is then diverted into a sanitary sewer system. In addition, DART utilizes a scrap metal recovery program to make the most of its resources.
This mindset goes beyond just the fleet. For example, DART has installed switches in its East Dallas offices so that lights automatically turn off in unoccupied workspaces. At its transit facilities, DART does not allow mowing on ozone alert days. Also, all lawnmowers must be 2002 models or newer in order to be compliant with EPA emission regulations.
DART abides by the water restrictions set forth by its member cities during summer months. The agency has upgraded its site irrigation controllers to models that provide environmentally-sensitive operation. The units are programmable and offer remote monitoring capability.
Finally, DART has planted many drought-tolerant plants in an effort to help conserve even more water during the hot Texas summers.
TEN SIMPLE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO "GO GREEN."2. Refuel when it's cool: This reduces the potential for ozone formation. Also, never top off your tank and always ensure your gas cap seals properly.
|1. Get it together: You can cut back on auto emissions by combining your errands into one sensible trip.|
|3.Maintain your car: Regular maintenance is a little-known way to cut back on pollution. It also helps your fuel economy.|
|4. Avoid excessive idling: To combat this, try driving during off-peak hours. Also, avoid construction areas and drive-thrus.|
|5. Watch for smoke: Black smoke means there is too much gas in the air-fuel mixture, while blue smoke indicates the engine is burning oil and too many hydrocarbons are being released.|
|6. See the light: Dashboard warning lights alert you of engine problems or other malfunctions, which may have an environmental impact. Be sure to have them checked out by a mechanic.|
|7. Check for leaks: Act quickly if you notice an air conditioner leak. Chloro-|
fluorocarbons pose a threat to stratospheric ozone.
|8. Note your mpg's: Pay attention to a loss in fuel economy as this usually signals an increase in emissions.|
|9. Try an electric shave: Using gas-powered lawn equipment for one hour causes as much pollution as driving 50 miles in a car!|
|10. Instead of driving your car on nights and weekends, take the bus, hop on a train,ride you rbike or there's a crazy idea - WALK! ;-)|