RTA recognizes Earth Day RTA recognizes Earth Day New Orleans Boasts Clean Transit Since 1923 Cleaner, Smarter Transit RTA recognizes Earth Day New Orleans Boasts Clean Transit Since 1923 NEW ORLEANS – The Regional Transit Authority, RTA, encourages residents to take public transportation on Sunday, April 22 in recognition of Earth Day. Since 1923, New Orleans has provided sustainable, clean transit with the Perley Thomas Streetcars on St.Charles Avenue. Today, the RTA has made innovative, environmentally friendly investments by running the entire bus fleet on bio-diesel, exhibiting new hybrid-diesel buses, recycling maintenance waste and operating the offices with energy smart systems. The RTA plays a significant role in moving New Orleans to cleaner, smarter energy solutions and economic relief from the burdening costs of owning a vehicle. Public transportation offers an immediate alternative for those seeking to reduce their energy usage and carbon foot-print. Individuals can assume an average annual savings of more than $9,000 by taking public transit regularly, according to the American Public Transportation Association. Public transportation positively impacts the community environmentally and economically. The RTA is dedicated to utilizing green technologies by reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality. Regional Transit Authority’s Cleaner, Smarter Transit Facts: All standard buses, total of 150 vehicles, run on Biodiesel. Biodiesel is a better source of fuel since it is produced domestically and is a clean-burning, renewable fuel for diesel engines. The RTA has invested in Hybrid-Articulated (bendy/accordion) buses and is seeking to acquire more. The new Hybrid buses reduce emissions by as much as 35% and increase fuel mileage by 30%. This is optimal for the major fixed-route lines that usually drive at low average speeds and frequently stop. The biodiesel engine starts the vehicle while the hybrid transmission drive recaptures energy for later use while accelerating and braking. The RTA recycles waste oil and anti-freeze from routine maintenance of all vehicles for future use. Cleaning solvents are also recycled. Water used to wash buses and streetcars is treated before being disposed. Currently, 17 bus stops are solar-powered to illuminate those shelters at night. The RTA plans to equip more shelters with solar-power technology. Utility use has reduced since outfitting the agency’s facilities with energy-smart lights and automatic switches. The agency also facilitates an internal paper/plastic recycling program. The Streetcars run on 600 volts of electricity. The same catenary system has been running clean, electric transit since 1923. To learn more about RTA’s sustainability initiatives, visit us at the New Orleans Earth Day event on Sunday, April 22 at Bayou St.John; accessible by transit on the Canal Streetcar. To learn more about the RTA visit www.norta.com, find us on Facebook.com/NewOrleansRTA, on Twitter @NewOrleansRTA or call 504-248-3900.