Saturday, October 30, 2010

Montreal's Green Lifestyles - Transit System Named Best in North America

On the heels of having the city's transit system named the best in North America by the American Public Transportation Association, Montreal has launched a new green living handbook. (link to online English version)

Montreal won the transit award for a number of reasons, chief among them the highest efficiency/lowest cost per passenger mile of all the transit systems on the continent.

The green living handbook is called "Consume Differently" and builds around a theme of "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Valorise". There's also a guide to "Eco-Centres", reuse centres and other facilities around the city's communities. Also a blurb on the championship transit system itself, where the conversion of the entire fleet of buses to biodiesel is described:

Since June 2008, STM buses have operated
with biodiesel, a fuel made from non-fossil
materials, which generates considerable en-
ergy savings without harming the environ-
ment. Did you know that not all types of
biodiesel fuel are beneficial to the environ-
ment? The STM was very careful in selecting
a biofuel, known as B5. Now used by all the
fleet’s buses, it is manufactured from recy-
cled cooking oil (80%) and animal fats
(20%) rather than oils derived from com-
mercial grain crops like corn.

Did you know that the STM burns nearly 50
million litres of fuel annually to operate their
buses? The use of B5 biodiesel has cut CO2
emissions by about 4,000 tons, or the equiv-
alent of 800 fewer vehicles on the roads.

 Montreal's "Bixi" bike borrowing / exchange program has also been very successful and is worth checking out. The Bixi system has already spread to several other cities, including London, Boston, Ottawa, Toronto, Washington D.C. and others.

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