Indianapolis, Indiana [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Ozone alerts are commonplace during the summer months when the heat and humidity are high. But Indiana had a first when a winter ozone-alert was posted because the levels of dust, dirt, soot, smoke and chemicals reached critical levels.Regular vehicle traffic is the main cause of an ozone alert, and that could be offset if people would take advantage of the public bus system, said Gilbert L. Holmes, the President and CEO of the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation “We are among several communities nation-wide investing in buses powered by electric hybrid technology,” Holmes stated in a press release. “This technology offers greater fuel economy and dramatically lowers emissions over conventional buses. Additionally, we are using alternative fuels such as soy bio-diesel and plan to switch to ultra-low sulfur diesel with particulate emission traps in the future.” On behalf of the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo), Holmes encouraged people to carpool, vanpool, walk, bike and use public transportation to reduce emissions that cause pollution and affects individual health as well as the health of communities. This first winter ozone warning is a stark reminder that the environmental threat of air pollution is year-round, Homes said. City and community populations are growing, and one result is increased traffic congestion and increased emissions. “We must change the transportation culture of Central Indiana to sustain development,” Holmes said. IndyGo is committed to educating the public on commuting alternatives to ensure a healthy environment to live, work, and play. The state established Central Indiana Commuter Services (CICS), so Indianapolis residents and residents of surrounding counties could have an alternative for city travel. Local employers such as Clarian, Dow AgroSciences, SBC, City of Indianapolis and the State of Indiana are already using CICS as an employee benefit, and hundreds of residents are using the hybrid bus transit to get to work. However, more proactive participation is needed to impact the air quality issues, Holmes said.