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RFTA, powered by green

Transportation Responsibility & YouSabrina HarrisGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent Photo/Kelley Cox
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What’s fueling your ride? If you rode a RFTA bus today, your ride could have been powered by either a hybrid bus or an ultra-low sulfur diesel bus, running on a 20 percent blend of biodiesel (B20). RFTA currently owns 11 hybrid buses in its fleet. During the summer months, RFTA has been running B20 in their fleet of diesel buses and a 10 percent ethanol (E10) in their gasoline vehicles. Most people are familiar with hybrid vehicles but not with alternative fuels, better known as bio-fuels. Biodiesel is a renewable, biodegradable fuel that is derived from soybeans and vegetable oils; it burns cleaner than petroleum-based diesel fuel and reduces harmful particulate emissions from diesel engines. It can be used in any diesel engine with few or no modifications necessary, and can be blended with diesel at any level. The most common level being a 20 percent blend (B20), a blend of 20 percent bio-fuel and 80 percent regular diesel. Ethanol is a gasoline-equivalent fuel chemically processed from a variety of domestic, carbon-based feedstocks such as corn, switchgrass and sugarcane. RFTA is currently using a blend of 10 percent in its gasoline vehicles. RFTA’s mission statement states that by 2017, our region will significantly reduce dependence on oil through a resource efficient, climate friendly, multimodal transportation system with a regional express line unimpeded by traffic and weather, competitive with the private vehicle in terms of convenience, travel time, and quality. Using hybrid buses and bio-fuels helps RFTA achieve its goal of reducing oil dependence and global warming pollution and is a way for the transit industry to become more environmentally friendly to communities they serve. RFTA conducted its own pilot program to test biodiesel in its fleet by gradually increasing the percent of biodiesel fleet-wide. In 2004, RFTA experimented with B5 and in 2006, B10 until it reached the 20 percent blend. RFTA believes it works just as well as straight diesel without any adverse effects, still maintaining power and fuel economy, and has not noticed a difference since the switch. In fact, since biodiesel is made from renewable resources, it is better for the environment and has lower emissions compared to petroleum diesel. Recent studies have shown that diesel engines run better and last longer with biodiesel, which burns up to 75 percent cleaner than conventional diesel fuel made from fossil fuels. Biodiesel could, in theory, supplement fossil fuels as the world’s primary transport energy source, decrease dependence on foreign oil and contribute to our economy. Using B20 in all highway diesel engines would reduce highway petroleum fuel use less than 5 percent.RFTA is responsible for taking valleywide action to address vehicle emissions, which are a major source of greenhouse gases. When it comes to the use of alternative fuels, renewable energy sources and greening our valleywide buses, RFTA is demonstrating leadership and commitment on the forefront for having clean-burning transit vehicles running throughout the valley. Do your part in protecting the environment and reducing global warming: Use RFTA, powered by green.

The Donegan Road Reconstruction Project is still under way with Martinez Western Constructors. The project began at the intersection with Soccer Field Road and will continue east near the intersection with Cedar Crest Drive. One lane of traffic will remain open at all times. There will be no on-street parking allowed during construction. The contractor by city ordinance is allowed working hours between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Weather permitting, we hope to have the first phase of this project completed by September. For information, contact the Glenwood Springs Engineering Department at 384-6435 and ask for King Lloyd.Sabrina Harris is transportation manager for the city of Glenwood Springs.


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