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Valley Metro buses clean up act with green fuels

PHOENIX — New research has linked inhaling diesel fumes to cancer.

But riders on Valley Metro buses, won’t have to worry about that. The majority of the buses run on alternative fuels.

“We have a total fleet of about 900 buses,” said Valley Metro spokeswoman Susan Tierney. “Currently we have 530 that are natural gas, or diesel-electric or hybrids.”

Almost 300 hundred more buses run on biodiesel. The difference in how the bus sounds and moves is almost unnoticeable but the difference is there when it comes to emissions testing and Valley Metro’s budget.

“Compressed natural gas costs us about 20 cents a mile to operate,” said Tierney. “But regular diesel costs about 70 cents a mile.”

Valley Metro has 17 hybrid buses, part of a pilot program. Tierney said more of the hybrids could be on the roads soon.