UPMC Going Green on the Road

By Stephanie Stanley

A big change on the road is going to save UPMC a lot at the gas pump.

UPMC is replacing 20 diesel-fueled shuttle buses with vehicles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and has installed six new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at hospital facilities. By using the CNG vehicles, UPMC is eliminating the consumption of the equivalent of nearly 1,400 barrels of petroleum annually.

The buses are being purchased with the help of a $500,000 Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Thirteen of the vehicles are on the road now and the other seven will be ready next fall. Natural gas is considered a cleaner-burning fuel than diesel and gasoline because it emits little to no mercury, sulfur dioxide or particulates, and also is plentiful, low-cost, and domestically produced.

Two other Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants to UPMC are being used for the installation of EV charging stations and are being administered by the Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities initiative, which is covering 40 percent of the total cost of installation. Currently, there are two Level II electric vehicle charging stations available at each of the following facilities:

•UPMC East on the first floor in the visitor’s parking garage (Route 48 entrance)
•UPMC Presbyterian garage on level D
•UPMC Montefiore garage on the first level of patient parking off of the main driveway

Additional stations will be added this year at UPMC Shadyside, University Center, Forbes Tower Garage and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

UPMC joins several other local large organizations participating in the initiative, including Bayer, Giant Eagle, and Eaton. These EV stations are part of a vehicle charge network that spans all of southwestern Pennsylvania. Current installations are associated with an expanding regional network along the 376 corridor from the Pittsburgh International Airport to the Turnpike.