Sun Tran Commits to Clean Air

By Wendy Sweet

There’s an easy way to help decrease traffic congestion and air pollution in Tucson – ride the bus! Did you know 100 percent of Sun Tran’s 203 buses are powered by cleaner burning fuel? Tucson’s public transportation system began converting to cleaner burning fuel back in the 1990’s with the use of compressed natural gas. “We received our first biodiesel buses in the fall of 2005,” says Michele Joseph, Sun Tran’s Director of Marketing. Today, 89 of the buses use compressed natural gas, while 114 use biodiesel fuel. “Biodiesel is a domestically produced, renewable fuel that can be manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats or recycled greases,” explains Joseph. “It also emits significantly fewer particulates than traditional diesel-fueled vehicles.”“People are looking for simple ways to go green – whether that is changing a light bulb or riding the bus,” says Joseph. “Getting people out of their cars and walking, riding a bike or riding the bus is a great way to reduce their carbon footprint (the effect your activities have on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions).”Another way Sun Tran helps the environment is by relieving congestion on the road. One Sun Tran bus can take as many as 60 vehicles off our streets. Consider this: if you travel by car during peak hours, according to Sun Tran you waste (on average) more than 42 hours a year in congestion. “You can ride the bus just one day a week and it helps,” notes Joseph. “We find that once people ride the bus, they like it! We have 22 “park and ride lots” that are free. You can drive to the lot, park your car and then ride the bus to your destination.” Sun Tran also provides shuttle service to a number of events around Tucson – including the Rodeo Parade, Colorado Rockies spring training, Race for the Cure, Aerospace and Arizona Days at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, and University of Arizona home football games.Sun Tran has 38 fixed routes and more than 2,200 bus stops. Every bus is equipped with a bike rack and a ramp or lift for easier boarding. “We have a seven day a week call center, which is a great way for first time riders to get one-on-one assistance with what route to take and how to pay the fare,” says Joseph. The call center number is 792-9222; you can reach someone from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends. You can also learn more about Sun Tran at its website:

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