CAT recognized for clean transportation
By Greg Oliver
CLEMSON — Clemson Area Transit’s goal of ultimately seeing an entire electric bus fleet hasn’t gone unnoticed by the state.
CAT recently received the S.C. Green Fleet Leader Award, presented by the Palmetto State Clean Fuels Coalition. The awards were presented by Maeve Mason and Landon Master of the regulatory staff office at a recent Clemson City Council meeting.
“We are a Department of Energy Clean Cities coalition — one of over a hundred throughout the entire U.S.,” Master said. “Each year, we present one fleet with the Green Fleet Leader Award, which goes to a stakeholder that provides excellence in clean transportation and reducing emissions and reducing energy usage in the state of South Carolina.”
Mason said CAT was recognized “for their commitment to all electric buses, sustainability and lower vehicle emissions by using all electric buses.” She pointed out that CAT has been previously recognized as Nonprofit Business of the Year, Green Business of the Year, Spare the Air Award winner, Outstanding Achievement and Innovation Implement S.C. Clean Transportation.
“We’re proud to be here today to celebrate (CAT general manager) Keith Moody and what he’s been able to do for Clemson Area Transit, his staff and his efforts to bring a cleaner fleet,” Mason said. “We’re excited about the advancement of transportation projects in South Carolina like this and happy to be here to recognize CATbus’ success and proof that companies all over the state can implement fuels and lower their emissions and create cost effective, reliable solutions to transportation.”
Palmetto Clean Fuels Coalition (PCF) works to increase the use of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies in South Carolina. PCF is part of the Clean Cities program.
The coalition strives to help public and private entities, as well as individuals, lower fuel costs, improve air quality and reduce petroleum consumption. It also promotes idle reduction, fuel economy measures, vehicular miles traveled reductions and bicycle and pedestrian efforts.
Clean Cities is a locally based, voluntary public and private partnership coordinated by the Department of Energy. The DOE developed the program to promote energy use in the transportation sector that is clean, safe, less dependent on foreign sources and sustainable.
Moody said CAT is “highly honored” to receive such a prestigious award.
“This award shows us and others that CATbus has been demonstrating leadership and excellence in clean transportation, and we plan to continue to be a leader in these efforts,” Moody said. “Just as Palmetto Clean Fuels acknowledges, CATbus also recognizes the environmental, economic and national benefits of reducing fossil fuel consumption and dependency. CATbus has programs and initiatives to make our communities better.”
Moody said CAT is already working to make its community better.
“CATbus has programs and initiatives to make our communities better by reducing the carbon footprint for the Upstate of South Carolina and making fare-free mass transportation the choice way to travel,” he said. “That is such a great way to get around.”
Established in 1996, CAT moved into its new state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly headquarters featuring 210 solar panels in 2011.
CAT will receive 10 new electric buses in August and September — replacing 10 diesel buses that have outlived their useful life — and Moody said the goal is to convert the entire fleet to 100 percent electric buses by 2023, if not sooner. The city of Seneca in 2015 became the first in the world to have an all-electric municipal bus fleet.
“This award is due to the two cities (Clemson and Seneca) working together,” Moody said. “You have two mayors and two city administrators who have worked together to make this possible. Such teamwork isn’t seen that often where things are made better for the public and the community.”
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