CTA Announces Plans for Earth Day, Launches Green Initiatives Web Site
The Chicago Transit Board today passed a resolution that recognizes the agency's ongoing sustainability initiatives and pledged their support for the continuation of these initiatives in the future. The agency also announced some events and new programs that will be introduced to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
"We are always exploring ways to make the CTA more energy efficient – it is critical for our operations as we continue to find ways to minimize costs. It also has a positive impact on the environment," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson. "The CTA is committed to sustainability initiatives and working to identify appropriate means of funding."
In recognition of Earth Day, the CTA will launch a section on www.transitchicago.com today which highlights the agency's green efforts. The CTA continuously evaluates environmental efficiencies in its vehicles, at its facilities and other places throughout the agency. The information in this section of CTA's Web site updates customers on the agency's many accomplishments.
"Most people know that taking public transportation is cost effective and good for the environment," said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. "However, the CTA strives to make environmentally-friendly decisions whenever possible. The CTA does more than just operate energy-efficient buses. This Web page highlights other agency green initiatives incorporated throughout CTA over the years such as recycling things like engine oil and antifreeze, or efforts to decrease the environmental impact of rail stations, offices and maintenance facilities."
The CTA's new green initiatives section on the Web site can be found at www.transitchicago.com/GoingGreen and lists CTA green efforts in six categories: sustainable transportation, clean vehicles, multimodal connections, efficient facilities, resource recycling and a list of environmental grants applied for by the agency.
The CTA has a number of other plans for Earth Day 2010. Updated "Going Green" facts will be displayed across the system, both on CTA vehicles and on digital display screens located at rail stations. These facts will outline some of the environmentally-friendly benefits of public transportation. For example: 78 – the average number of cars replaced by a 60-foot CTA bus. That's a line of traffic that would stretch from the Merchandise Mart to the John Hancock!
CTA's "EcoBus" – one of the 40-foot hybrids in the CTA's fleet – will display some of the environmental benefits of hybrids and remind customers of the importance public transportation in helping the environment. The bus will be used in service, as well as make appearances at various expositions and festivals across the city. The bus will make its debut at the ChicaGO Green Festival on Saturday, April 17 outside of the Lincoln Park Zoo.
CTA's sustainability efforts are not limited to Earth Day activities. The CTA has an internal "Green Team" dedicated to advancing green initiatives at the CTA and identifying potential funding for these projects.
Jacky Grimshaw and Kathryn McClain, two of the agency's newest Board members, bring their professional dedication and experience in sustainability to the CTA. They are engaged in CTA's sustainability efforts and continue to bring new ideas to the table.
The CTA also serves a key function in the Chicago Climate Action Plan by reducing energy use and emissions. In addition, the agency has contributed to the Illinois Climate Change advisory group and work with the American Public Transportation Associations' Climate Change working group.
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