SmartDriver for Transit STM bus drivers could help reduce GHG emissions by more than 10,000 tonnes a year!  

Press release

SmartDriver for Transit
STM bus drivers could help reduce GHG emissions
by more than 10,000 tonnes a year!

Montreal, 8 June 2005 - The Chairman of the STM Board of Directors, Claude Dauphin, chose Clean Air Day to announce that the STM had joined the SmartDriver for Transit programme to encourage its 2,700 bus drivers to take part in the drive to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Introduced by Natural Resources Canada, the two-day course can in fact lead to energy savings ranging from 10% to 30%. « We were so encouraged by the results obtained at our Frontenac garage, where 285 drivers attended the innovative workshop, that we decided to expand the programme. By the end of 2006, all our drivers will know the basics of fuel-efficient driving. In practical terms, we think we could reduce our diesel consumption by about 8%. Bus drivers would contribute to reaching the goals set out in the Kyoto Accord by lowering GHG emissions over Montréal by more than 10,000 tonnes, which is roughly the amount produced by 2000 cars each running 20,000 km a year, » added Mr. Dauphin.

St�phane Lachance, vice-president of the drivers’ union, the Syndicat des chauffeurs, op�rateurs et employ�s des services connexes de la STM (SCFP 1983), reaffirmed the union’s commitment to supporting the programme, as it falls in with the sustainable development objectives supported by the SCFP. « It’s providing bus drivers with an opportunity to do something real in terms of preserving the environment. Their small gestures can make a big difference in improving the quality of life and health for all Montrealers ».

According to Natural Resources Canada, CO2 emissions are directly proportional to the quantity of fuel burned. Knowing that each litre of consumed diesel releases 2.76 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere, it is easy to understand how jackrabbit starts and sudden braking burn up more fuel and are more polluting than smooth starts and stops. « These notions are brought up during training to heighten awareness among drivers about how fuel savings can help Canada uphold its commitment to lowering GHG emissions, » added Françoise Pelletier, SmartFleet senior manager for Natural Resources Canada. « We are very pleased that the STM has joined our programme, and we are convinced that their drivers’ efforts will produce results. »

Training is ensured by two STM instructors and all teaching aids are supplied free of charge by Natural Resources Canada. The STM only needs to incur the cost of relieving drivers from duty those two days, which represents about $ 2 million for 2005 and 2006. « It’s an economically sound investment, as the savings in diesel fuel alone – about $ 2 million a year – will cover the cost of training, in addition to benefiting drivers, transit users and all residents, » indicated Michel Comtois, Deputy Director General.

Mr. Dauphin concluded by saying « This initiative is in response to the appeal by the Mayor of Montréal for making sustainable development a reality. So the STM is taking concrete action to reduce GHG emissions, as advocated in the City’s first strategic plan for sustainable development (Plan strat�gique de d�veloppement durable de la collectivit� Montréalaise), tabled last May. ».

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