Diesel buses release carbon pollution into the atmosphere. And their exhaust also contains other pollutants that can worsen asthma, chronic bronchitis, and other health problems.

“So our goal is to reduce our fleet to zero emissions as quickly as possible,” says Carrie Black of Indygo, Indianapolis’ public transportation provider.

Indygo has started the transition by replacing some of its diesel buses with more than 80 all-electric and electric-hybrid buses.

Electric buses do not have any tailpipe emissions, so they’re better for public health and the climate. But they are expensive, and range is sometimes a limiting factor.

Indygo’s hybrid buses still run on fossil fuels, but they can switch to the electric motor —for example when they drop off and pick up passengers.

“And so there aren’t those fumes that you have from the diesel buses,” Black says. “It’s a wonderful improvement to not have to inhale those fumes when you’re getting on or getting off the bus.”

So the hybrids provide a solution that is better for the health of Indianapolis residents and the climate while the city transitions its fleet.

Read: Burning fossil fuels heats the climate. It also harms public health.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media