Jefferson: One sniff will tell you – — – the buses are better

A month after switching the bus fleet over to biodiesel, Jefferson Transit officials say they can smell the difference in the air.

Transit authority Planning Coordinator Leigh Kennel said diesel exhaust from buses just outside her window used to hang in the air of her office.

Now she’s breathing easier.

“It’s already making a difference,” she said of the switch to cleaner-burning fuel. “I can tell.”

But perhaps nobody can tell more than Maintenance Manager Carla Meyer, whose office is located in the bowels of the Jefferson Transit bus garage.

The conditions there are ripe for fumes to accumulate.

These days, the smog is not as bad, she said.

The state-funded Olympic Region Clean Air Agency in Olympia gave Jefferson Transit $7,500 to help offset the cost of buying the more expensive diesel throughout the second half of this year.

The switch was made July 13, Kennel said.

All buses in east Jefferson County now run the blend of diesel made from 20 percent soy oil and 80 percent low-sulfur petroleum.

The West End buses, based in Forks, were not switched to the new fuel.

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