City of Lincoln
2005 Media Releases
Mayor Coleen J. Seng, and representatives of the CityHomeTM Clean Air Program announced today that Lincoln is the first U.S. city to convert its public transit bus fleet to an ethanol diesel fuel blend known as O2Diesel. The CityHomeTM program is the nation’s first clean air initiative to help municipal transit systems reduce diesel fuel emissions.
“This is an exciting day for our community and for the future of clean air in cities across the nation,” said Mayor Seng. “Lincoln is on the cutting edge in clean air technology. O2Diesel is good for StarTran, for the health of our citizens and for our agricultural industry. This is the Capital City of a major corn-producing state, so this project is a perfect match for Lincoln and for Nebraska. I want to thank CityHomeTM and the corporate sponsors for making this innovation possible at no cost to the City.”
Transit Manager Larry Worth said StarTran began using ethanol blended fuels as part of a pilot program in 1994. StarTran began testing O2Diesel in four buses in 2000. About three-fourths of StarTran’s fleet converted to O2Diesel in February. The remaining StarTran buses will be converted in the next few weeks, except for two buses which use biodiesel.
O2Diesel reduces black smoke, particulate matter and exhaust gases that are damaging to the ozone layer and unhealthy. A recent study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a non-profit environmental organization, says reducing diesel emissions can help reduce health problems such as asthma, respiratory disease and heart attacks.
CityHomeTM is a partnership involving municipal transit systems, O2Diesel and corporate sponsors, whose contributions offset the program costs to the transit operators. Sponsors include the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Corn Growers and the Nebraska Ethanol Board.
“Through corporate sponsorships, CityHomeTM makes it possible for smaller urban fleets like StarTran to play a meaningful role in helping improve air quality for Lincoln residents,” said Worth. “We see this as a model program that can spur implementations in larger cities where curbing diesel pollution is an even bigger challenge.”
“CityHomeTM represents a tremendous leap forward in helping cities tackle the problem of noxious diesel emissions that, until now, were inherent with traditional diesel-fueled bus fleets,” said Alan Rae, President and CEO of O2Diesel Corp. “The City of Lincoln, StarTran and CityHomeTM sponsors are to be applauded for their vision to involve themselves in such an innovative and beneficial program.”
“Ethanol production has become the second largest customer for Nebraska corn and is one of the great success stories in rural development for our state,” said Mark Jagels, Nebraska Corn Board Chair. “This ethanol diesel bus project is an important next step in proving the value of ethanol in diesel engines. Nebraska’s corn producers are again investing in the future of this growing industry by showing their support of this project.”
“The commercialization of ethanol-diesel blends offers great promise for America’s environment and energy security,” said Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board Administrator. “The City of Lincoln has the opportunity to show the rest of the nation that this new fuel can result in cleaner air in America’s cities and less dependence on imported oil.”