ART and Air Quality

The Washington, D.C. area is a federal non-attainment area for both ground level ozone and fine particle pollution. This means that air pollution levels persistently exceed national air quality standards. But riding ART, rather than driving, literally helps clear the air.

Taking public transportation generally pollutes less than driving, but ART buses are even more environmentally friendly than most, because they run on clean-burning compressed natural gas.

In addition to helping to alleviate the immediate problem of air pollution, reducing vehicle emissions also helps to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. This is a goal of AIRE: Arlington Initiative to Reduce Emissions.

Make a Special Effort to Ride ART When the Air Quality is Poor

From May to mid-September, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) issues a daily air quality forecast for the following day. While it's a good idea to take public transportation rather than drive every day, it's an even better idea when the air quality forecast is poor.

Benefits of Compressed Natural Gas

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, "Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning alternative fuels available and offers a number of advantages over gasoline. In light-duty applications, air exhaust emissions from natural gas vehicles are much lower than those from gasoline-powered vehicles. In addition, smog-producing gases, such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, are reduced by more than 90% and 60%, respectively and carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is reduced by 30%-40%. For heavy-duty and medium-duty applications, natural gas engines have demonstrated more than 90% reduction of CO and particulate matter and more than 50% reduction of NOx relative to commercial diesel engines.

More Information:

Air Quality and Transportation
Arlington's Fresh AIRE initiative
MWCOG Air Quality Forecast
Clean Air Partners