Bus operator Stagecoach has launched a new fleet of eco buses in Lincoln powered by rubbish and animal waste.
The 11 Optare Solo buses have been specially converted to run on low carbon biomethane converted from waste. It means the buses emit up to 40% less CO2. Using the waste for fuel also means that less rubbish goes to landfill.
Biomethane fuel to reduce CO2 emissions
The vehicles start by running on diesel, then a gas electronic control system gradually reduces the use of the polluting fuel, replacing it with the biomethane, and meaning the performance of the buses is not affected.
“Waste is a big issue for every family and household up and down the country and councils now face major taxes for landfill,” said Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Brian Souter.
“This is an innovative way of taking something that’s a big problem for society and turning it into a fuel of the future. It means we can offer greener travel to our customers and cut our own carbon footprint. You could say it’s another ‘rubbish’ idea from Stagecoach! But we certainly hope it will help make a big difference to the local environment in the community.”
Part of Stagecoach’s sustainability strategy
The new buses are just part of Stagecoach’s sustainability strategy, investing some £11m in environmental initiatives. The transport group is aiming for a reduction of 8% in CO2 emissions from the buildings it runs and a cut of 3% from its vehicles by 2014. It already managed to cut its CO2 use by 5.7% in the three years running up to April 2009.
Bio fuel & hybrid buses
Stagecoach launched the UK’s first 100% bio fuel bus fleet in 2007 in Kilmarnock, Scotland, using fuel made from cooking oil and food industry by products. Local passengers can even exchange their used cooking oil for discounts on local bus journeys. The scheme has reduced CO2 emissions from the Kilmarnock fleet by 80%, saving 2,450 tonnes of carbon.
Stagecoach are also only one of two UK-based public transport operators to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standard for their efforts to reduce emissions and promote sustainable transport.
The transport group has also ordered 142 hybrid electric buses, which it plans to introduce in locations across the UK, and is also investing heavily in a clever new eco-driving system. It’s hoped the scheme will reduce fuel consumption by 4%.
Intelligent green lighting at depots
Other green innovations include an intelligent lighting system installed at six major depots, which uses movement sensors to work out when lighting is and isn’t needed. It’s expected to save around 230 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Stagecoach becoming a green leader with great value services
Stagecoach continue to drive forward with their eco agenda and this is another milestone for their green programme. They also are leading the way with great value services. Green Abode’s Megabus Review and Megabus Scotland article shows that they are committed to providing cheap coach and train travel in the UK. Keep up the good work, that’s what we say.