The CTA is working on how it can contribute to improving the environment while continuing to provide quality service to our customers. The CTA has a number of ongoing initiatives to utilize advanced fuel technology to reduce bus emission.
The CTA has partnered with Daimler-Benz and Ballard to develop fuel cell technology. Many experts believe fuel cells may be the power source for the future. While many automobile manufacturers are beginning to experience with this technological advancement, the CTA is operating three ZERO Emission Fuel Cell buses. To experience a ride on the first fuel cell powered buses in the world, look for one of the Clean Machines every weekday on the #20 ? Madison, #65 ? Grand, and #66 ? Chicago routes.
A fuel cell generates electricity from hydrogen and oxygen (from air). The electricity produced is used to power the bus while producing only excess heat and water vapor making these Clean Machines completely free of harmful emissions.
Another technological advancement the CTA is using is a reformulated diesel fuel called EXDiesel (Ethanol Oxygenated Diesel). The fuel is made from blending ethanol with diesel to reduce emission while maintaining engine performance. An additional economic benefit of EXDiesel is that it uses ethanol made from corn grown in Illinois. The CTA is receiving project funding and assistance from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, the Illinois Corn Growers Association, United States Department of Energy, and several private companies. The ExDiesel is being tested on fifteen buses out of Kedzie Avenue Garage.
The CTA is also looking at what alternative fuels can do for its own service vehicles. Fifteen utility vans powered by clean burning Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) were recently purchased. The vans are used throughout the service area to move people and supplies as part of the daily duties for various CTA departments.
The CTA is working to implement these alternative fuels and technologies to improve our environment. The partnerships and lessons being learned will help us focus our resources on continuing efforts to provide better service without harming the environment. Look for more news in the future!