With "going green" becoming an ever increasing priority, UMBC Transit is currently undertaking many activities to support the greater campus commitment. Just take a look . . .
- Upgrading the fleet. UMBC Transit has entered the "green-age" with low-sulfur, diesel fueled, and efficient fleet upgrades. All vehicles run on a blended bio-diesel fuel supplied through the State of Maryland bidding process where fuel prices are competitively shopped. With only two older vehicles remaining presently in service a complete fleet renewal is only two years away.
- Providing bicycle racks on shuttles. A great incentive and convenient offering for passengers wishing to transport their bicycle while riding the bus. Healthy for you AND healthy for the environment!
- Engine coolant and oil recycling during maintenance procedures on all of our service shuttles.
- Committed to utilizing bio-diesel. One of our shuttles is presently committed to be fueled solely with fuel supplied by UMBC organizations dedicated to its production. As testing and experience dictate, use of this product will be increased to the entire fleet as we seek fuel providers who will incorporate UMBC bio-diesel fuel into their product which, when blended, will provide a sustainable fuel source for delivery to us. Doing so, will limit UMBC's financial investment in separate fuel depot receptacles for bio-diesel, on-site fuel containment costs, material, and liability associated with blending.
- Optimizing routing via a study undertaken from the Subcommittee on Transportation of the Climate Change Task Force will pinpoint near-campus residences maintained by students, faculty and staff. An overlay of UMBC and MTA bus routes will inform both UMBC and MTA as to their effectiveness in delivery of service to specific areas. Route adjustments along with marketing are expected to produce higher ridership from these already served areas. It is anticipated that the survey of home addresses will be on-going, adjusting to changing campus population densities.
- Optimizing bus size as accomplished by review of card swipe data. The swipe system was installed in 2009 and has enabled UMBC Transit to conquer the information gap previously experienced with no technology in place. While this tool is used for boarding passengers, it is also used to capture data snap shots of rider use by route, as well as by bus stop. Bus size is subsequently adjusted appropriately to the route and time, thereby permitting UMBC Transit to lower emissions and fuel consumption by pairing smaller shuttle buses with routes that have a smaller ridership.
- Monitoring headway. We are able to go green utilizing the Transit Tracker GPS system, which provides a management tool that calculates headway (describes spacing between buses on the same route). This tool increases route timing and efficiency and assists in modeling proposed changes to routes.
- Assisting commuters with their connections to mass transit systems, namely the MARC Train & Light Rail System, as well as the MTA Shuttle System, which is an elevated priority for UMBC Transit.