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US transit agencies adopting lower-emissions diesel at faster rate than HD truck fleet

US transit agencies are adopting lower-emissions diesel technology at a faster percentage than the heavy-duty trucking fleet, said Ezra Finkin, the Director of Policy for the Diesel Technology Forum, at last week’s American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Expo Bus and Maintenance Technical Session in Houston. Nationally, 44% of the diesel transit buses meet or exceed the first EPA clean diesel standard—Model Year 2007 or newer—while 33% of the US truck fleet meet or exceed the standard.

The rate of adoption by transit agencies of clean diesel technology surprised us and is very significant, since transit agencies are at the forefront for evaluating the best fuels and technologies to serve their communities. It also comes at a time when there are a growing number of technology choices, incentives and pressures on transit fleets to procure technology to meet local clean air, energy and climate objectives.

The new clean diesel bus technology of today is the result of an interconnected system of clean fuels, advanced engine design and exhaust or aftertreatment technologies working together to reduce emissions to near-zero emissions. New clean diesel buses have reduced both NOx and particulate matter emissions by 98% compared to 1988 buses.

—Ezra Finkin

Share of fuels and engines in the public transit bus fleet in 2013 according to APTA. Of the diesel buses currently in the US fleet, Finkin said APTA’s data showed that 81% were conventional diesels, 12% were diesel-electric, and 7% operated on biodiesel. Click to enlarge.



In a market based system, only the most profitable activity is worth doing, the externalities of health and environment are ignored, those are someone else's problems.

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