SUBSTITUTE RESOLUTION NO. RS2012-460
A resolution requesting the Mayor and the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Nashville to designate as a top priority program the replacement of the entire fleet of public buses powered by diesel combustion engines with buses that are powered by hybrid-electric technology, compressed natural gas, or liquid natural gas.
WHEREAS, approximately 60 percent of the public transit in our nation is provided by buses; and
WHEREAS, approximately 84 percent of the buses are powered by diesel combustion engines that run on fossil fuel; and
WHEREAS, the exhaust from diesel combustion engines contains ozone precursors, benzene, arsenic, dioxins, formaldehyde, and numerous toxic substances which have a negative impact on the natural environment and the health of citizens; and
WHEREAS, significant health impacts are associated with the toxic diesel exhaust, including the aggravation of bronchitis and asthma, and may include lung damage and premature death; and
WHEREAS, the exhaust of diesel combustion engines has adversely impacted the natural environment and is closely linked to Global Warming; and
WHEREAS, our dependence on the foreign fossil fuels used to power these diesel combustion engines has made us a slave to rising fuel costs; and
WHEREAS, there are several cost advantages aligned with the use of hybrid-electric buses that include a 30% increased fuel economy, extended brake life, no transmission to service, less moving parts, less engine wear and tear, and a less expensive engine; and
WHEREAS, hybrid-electric buses provide numerous benefits for the riders and operators that include smoother and quicker acceleration, and a low floor design making it easier to access; and
WHEREAS, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has reported that the use of environmentally friendly, fuel efficient hybrid-electric buses witnessed a 5% increase in public transportation ridership in the first quarter of 2012; and
WHEREAS, the comprehensive use of hybrid-electric powered vehicles in public transportation will promote the construction of additional charging stations throughout Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County; and
WHEREAS, buses powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquid natural gas (LNG) offer dramatically reduced emissions and a much quieter ride compared to diesel buses; and
WHEREAS, using buses powered by American-produced CNG and LNG would have the additional benefits of reducing the amount of money MTA spends on fuel, removing the influence of foreign governments on the district’s day-to-day operations, and virtually eliminating the volatility that currently takes place with petroleum budgets; and
WHEREAS, a growing number of transit authorities serving municipalities throughout our nation are using hybrid-electric and natural gas-powered buses to improve the air quality, health, and reduce dependence on rising fuel costs associated with public transportation vehicles powered by diesel combustion engines; and
WHEREAS, cities such as Washington, D.C. have been operating their transit fleet with CNG-powered buses for a number of years; and
WHEREAS, according to the American Public Transit Association (APTA), nearly one-fifth of all transit buses were powered by CNG or LNG in 2011; and
WHEREAS, notable municipalities served by a growing number of hybrid-electric buses include New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, and San Francisco, all of which have reported significant emissions reductions from their hybrid-electric bus fleets that have benefitted the natural environment and the health of the their citizens; and
WHEREAS, although MTA has implemented a policy to replace diesel powered buses with hybrid-electric buses at the end of their life cycle, this has only resulted in the purchase of 24 hybrid-electric buses out of a total fleet of 137 buses, which is a considerably lower percentage than the other noted cities; and
WHEREAS, the increased use of hybrid-electric and natural gas-powered buses by the Metropolitan Transit Authority will further Mayor Dean’s goal of making Metropolitan Nashville the greenest city in the southeast, will protect the health of its citizens, and will provide a more cost effective and efficient mode of public transportation.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as requesting the Mayor and the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Nashville to designate as a top priority program the replacement of the entire number of diesel combustion engine buses with buses that are powered by hybrid-electric technology, compressed natural gas, or liquid natural gas, all of which are more environmentally sensitive, healthy, and cost efficient than diesel buses.
Section 2. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as suggesting that the use of hybrid-electric vehicles in public transportation will prompt an increase in the use of such vehicles by the private community and will prompt the construction of additional charging stations throughout Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County.
Section 3. The Metropolitan Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Resolution to Mayor Karl Dean and to Metropolitan Transit Authority Executive Director Paul Ballard.
Section 4. That this Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: Bruce Stanley
|Referred to:||Traffic, Parking and Transportation Committee|
|Introduced:||October 16, 2012|
|Deferred to November 20, 2012:||October 16, 2012|
|Substitute Introduced:||November 20, 2012|
|Adopted:||November 20, 2012|
|Returned Unsigned by Mayor:||November 21, 2012|