With the addition of propane vehicles to its fleet, Laketran has been designated as an Ohio Green Fleet by Clean Fuels Ohio’s statewide program. The Ohio Green Fleets program recognizes fleets efficiency and environmental performance and acknowledges Laketran’s commitment to being environmentally responsibility by improving air quality and reducing Ohio’s dependence on imported petroleum.
Laketran earned the designation as a Three-Star Ohio Green Fleet. Vehicle fleets are evaluated based on their reliance on petroleum fuels and policies the agency has implemented to reduce vehicle emissions. Designation as a Three-Star Ohio Green Fleet demonstrates that robust steps have been taken toward improving a fleet’s overall efficiency and emissions profile. Fleets achieving a Three-Star certification have been able to apply technologies to significant portions of their vehicle fleet, attaining thorough reductions in vehicle emissions and petroleum fuel use.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by Ohio Green Fleets,” shared Laketran CEO Ben Capelle. “Laketran is in the process of converting our 88 bus Dial-a-Ride fleet to propane and will have 27 vehicles operating on cleaner burning propane autogas by early 2019 – transitioning 31% of the fleet’s fuel to propane.”
While dependent on federal funding, Laketran’s goal is to transition the entire fleet in five to seven years.
Capelle also credits the agencies policies, such as its No Idling policy, as a reason why the agency achieved the Green Fleets ranking.
“Every minute you idle, you’re burning unnecessary fuel, wasting money and polluting the air,” explained Capelle. “In peak service, we have 72 Dial-a-Ride buses operating throughout Lake County and every minute we’re not idling we save $1.84 in fuel. Just by reducing our idling time by one minute per bus, saves us $470 annually.”
Dial-a-Ride, Laketran’s door-to-door, shared-ride service primarily used by seniors and people with disabilities, provides 300,000 trips annually and has seen a 14 percent increase in ridership over the last three years. Dial-a-Ride is provided throughout Lake County and to limited medical facilities in Cuyahoga County and includes special programs such as Veterans Medical Transportation and Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation.
Laketran’s motor coach Park-n-Ride fleet that primarily connects commuters between Lake County and downtown Cleveland also contributed to earning the designation, as well as the steps Laketran took to secure funding for a future in electric bus technology for their Local Route service.
“Our Park-n-Ride fleet is running on the most current emissions reductions systems, our Dial-a-Ride fleet is converting to propane, and Laketran was just awarded federal funding to bring the first battery-operated electric buses to Ohio,” shared board president Brian Falkowski. “If we can find a way to operate more efficiently and environmentally friendly, we’re going to responsibly do just that.”