CINCINNATI, April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Want to reduce your carbon footprint this Earth Day? FirstGroup America, the largest provider of ground transportation services in North America, suggests you leave your car in the garage and take the bus! Public transit and school buses replace a significant number of cars on the road, making them an environmentally sound transportation option. Using public transportation saves the equivalent of 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually. Research shows that by using public transit, the typical automobile driver can reduce individual daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds or more than 4,800 pounds per year. A single school bus can eliminate approximately 36 cars. With more than 480,000 school buses on the road each day, that's nearly 17.3 million fewer vehicles on the streets, saving an estimated total of 2.3 billion gallons of fuel each year as well as reducing congestion, emissions and road wear and tear.
"Today's buses are more environmentally friendly than ever before, thanks to cleaner-burning engines, specialized particulate filters and alternative fuels," notes Gary Catapano, senior vice president for Safety at FirstGroup America. Consider this:
- All First Student, Greyhound and First Transit buses use ultra low sulfur diesel, which improves emissions and runs significantly cleaner. Emissions have been reduced from more than 500 parts per million (ppm) to now less than 15 ppm with ultra low sulfur diesel.
- 750 First Student and First Transit vehicles run on compressed natural gas, a cleaner running fuel than diesel.
Research shows typical school bus engines burn about half a gallon of fuel per hour of idling. Cutting back on idling not only reduces emissions; it saves significantly on fuel costs. "At First Student, we strictly enforce our anti-idling policy, which states that no bus will idle in excess of three minutes while not in transit unless certain exceptions exist," adds Catapano.
FirstGroup America's efforts to reduce its environmental footprint extend beyond using cleaner fuel and reducing emissions. The company is implementing a waste recycling program across all managed facilities in North America, including First Transit and Greyhound. Through this program, FirstGroup will recycle enough used oil to eliminate 5,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) per year. The company is now recycling seven percent of all waste including cardboard and glass. This represents more than 20,000 cubic yards per year of waste material 'saved' from going into landfills. Additionally, FirstGroup recycles more than 250,000 pounds of used oil filters annually throughout North America.
FirstGroup America continues to research investments for energy improvements and has targeted sustained North American consumption reduction of two percent per year for each of the next five years.
About FirstGroup America
FirstGroup America is the leader in safe, reliable, sustainable transportation and is the largest provider of surface transportation services in North America. FirstGroup owns and/or operates more than 70,000 school and transit buses, and maintains many more vehicles in over 1,100 locations in the United States and Canada. In 2008, FirstGroup America was awarded the National Safety Council's highest award for safety. For more information, visit www.firstgroupamerica.com or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FirstGrpAmerica.
SOURCE FirstGroup America