ULTRA LOW SULFUR DIESEL FUEL CONVERSION OF CTA’S FLEET TO DRASTICALLY REDUCE EMISSIONS

February 5, 2003
2/5/03

All diesel vehicles in CTA's fleet ? both buses and non-revenue vehicles ? will begin to reduce emissions as the agency begins its conversion to ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel. Today the Chicago Transit Board approved an amendment for an additional $2.2 million to CTA's existing fuel contract with BP to deliver ULSD fuel for the remaining life of the contract.

By using ULSD fuel in combination with particulate matter filters, CTA's newest buses, the Novas, will experience a 90 to 95 percent reduction in emissions. Older model buses as well as new vehicles to be added to the fleet will also experience reduced emissions as a result of the conversion.

Currently, the CTA uses #1 diesel fuel, an improvement over the higher sulfur #2 diesel that was used to power the fleet more than a decade ago. By converting to ULSD now, the CTA is ahead of schedule in implementing the 2007 Federal Emission requirements for reduced particulate matter and carbon monoxide.

?Public transit is inherently environmentally friendly because it significantly reduces traffic congestion by providing a reliable and accessible transportation option," said Transit Board Chair Valerie B. Jarrett. ?If the technology is available to lessen the impact of our fleet on the environment and the benefits outweigh the cost, it is not only a good business decision but also in the best interest of our customers that we do so."

Based upon CTA's action, BP will begin manufacturing ULSD in its local plant in Whiting, Indiana, and thus ULSD will be available in the region for other fuel buyers as well.

"The CTA uses 21.2 million gallons of #1 diesel fuel annually. Converting to a lower emission fuel continues our commitment to being environmentally friendly," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?ULSD is the most cost-effective way to reduce emissions because it allows us to use it in new buses that come equipped with particulate matter filters, retrofit many of our existing buses with filters, and also reduce emissions from buses that cannot be fitted with filters."

Implementing the ULSD plan will cost $16 million over the next four years and includes the cost of particulate matter filters, fuel, added filter maintenance and the installation of overhead hoists to assist with the annual changing of the filters.

Implementation will begin this spring and will be completed by the end of 2003.

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