Written by The Business Journal Staff
The Visalia Transit Center has been recognized for environmental stewardship by earning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification, which signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict performance levels set by the EPA.
Visalia Transit has also added seven new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to its fleet, making its entire fixed-route and Dial-A-Ride fleet run on alternative fuel.
Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The Visalia Transit Center improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its building.
“The Visalia Transit Center is pleased to accept EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said Visalia Transit Manager Monty Cox. “Through this achievement, along with our new buses, we have demonstrated our commitment to being environmentally conscious.”
Funding for the seven new CNG buses came from a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant obtained by the City. These buses will replace older diesel buses, as recommended in the Short Range Transit Plan.
Cox said this vehicle purchase is another “big step” toward Visalia Transit’s fleet operating solely on alternative fuel.
In the future, Visalia Transit hopes to add electric buses to its fleet as well, now that new battery technology allows these electric buses to run a full day on a single charge.
For more information about Visalia Transit, visit www.visaliatransit.com. For more information about ENERGY STAR Certification for Commercial Buildings, go to www.energystar.gov/labeledbuildings.