Microparticles collected by the trial bus in Southampton, England weighed the same as a tennis ball.
CNN  — 

Using public transport is often a greener alternative to driving a car, and now one company is taking its green ambitions a step further – by developing a pollution-sucking fleet of buses.

Go-Ahead Group, a British transportation company with a fleet of 5,000 buses in total, confirmed to CNN that it is rolling out 11 new buses in towns and cities across England that clean the air as they go.

The buses will be fitted with a three-filter rooftop filtration system that sucks dirt and ultra-fine harmful particles out of the air.

It developed the filtration technology with Pall Aerospace, a company that also develops filtration systems for commercial and military aircraft.

The rollout, which begins this summer, follows a successful trial of one bus in Southampton, which was found to be capable of “cleaning” 3.2 million cubic meters (113 million cubic feet) of city air in 100 days.

The microparticles sucked into the filters weighed the equivalent of a tennis ball, Go-Ahead Group said.

The buses themselves are fueled by diesel, a spokesperson confirmed, though he said the engines were “Euro 6”-compliant – a vehicle emissions standard set as acceptable by the European Union.

“We want to play our part in tackling the crisis in urban air quality and show that buses can be integral to cleaning up our cities,” David Brown, Go-Ahead’s chief executive, said in a statement to CNN.

While Go-Ahead is believed to be the first company in the UK to develop an air-filtering bus, it is not the first in the world.

Buses fitted with a rooftop air filtration system were rolled out in Delhi in 2018, in a move designed to help tackle the city’s pollution problem.

The five buses were developed by the Manav Rachna Innovation and Incubation Centre as part of a pilot, with 30 more buses set to be introduced in future, according to India’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change.