Sustainability at RTA

Apr 22, 2019

Here at RTA, we thank you for using our services, and so does the Earth! Did you know that transportation accounts for 29 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States?

RTA is taking actions to save the planet, one ride at a time. We've even hired a Program Manager for Sustainability and Performance Excellence, Heather Valentino. She works on sustainability and designing and implementing the Authority-wide sustainability strategy. She says, “We have developed a 3-year strategy that includes a number of initiatives such as ISO: 14001 multi-site certification, Utility Conservation Program, Pollution Prevention Program and Sustainable Procurement.  I am the primary liaison for the Authority in regards to Sustainability.”

While under the umbrella of performance excellence, Heather is responsible for leading cross-functional teams on continual improvement efforts throughout RTA. Heather states, “This fits in nicely, as one way to look at Sustainability is that we can always be improving our carbon footprint, whether that is reducing our environmental impact or positively impacting our neighbors and communities we live in.” Heather has some words of wisdom for all of us, such as, take transit, recycle, and do any green actions you are able to do!

RTA plays an important role in reducing vehicle emissions in Northeast Ohio. We do this by replacing automobile trips and reducing traffic congestion.  National averages demonstrate that public transportation produces significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile than private vehicles. To reduce the environmental impact of our operations, we design facilities to be water and energy efficient as possible.  In February of 2019, our Brookpark Station received LEED Silver Certification. This is a major accomplishment for us!

Did you know that it only takes about 6 weeks total to manufacture, fill, sell, recycle, and then remanufacture an aluminum beverage can?  Actions this small can make a major impact for our environment! So please deposit your empty cans into one of our recycling bins at our stations. To reduce our electricity usage, we completed a lighting retrofit and installed LED bulbs throughout our facilities to reduce electricity usage at the Central Bus Maintenance Facility.  At home, you can replace your old inefficient incandescent light bulbs with efficient CFLs or LEDs. Little changes like these are major when we all do them together!

In order to provide clean buses, we wash them regularly. At one of our bus garages we capture excess water, filter and reuse it to minimize water consumption.  Did you know that bathroom faucets run at about 2 gallons of water a minute, according to the EPA? Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth and shave, and you can save hundreds of gallons a month.

All of us here at RTA are making big changes to help our environment and you should too! Let’s make everyday Earth Day!