Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Salem CNG buses in action

Can someone (Jason?) tell me why TriMet does not utilize compressed natural gas equipment? With diesel fuel at over 3 dollars/gallon and the natural gas equivalent at 1.75,it would make sense to convert. Am I missing something?


Erik H. said...

Actually Cherriots is starting to phase out the CNG buses - their newest (100 and 200 series) buses are "clean diesel" (ultra-low sulfur diesel) buses.

TriMet used to have LNG buses, when PGE had a LNG vehicle fleet. When PGE phased out the use of LNG TriMet didn't have a place to refuel the buses - and thus the LNG buses went away.

Right now Pierce Transit and LACMTA are the largest CNG users in the area that I'm aware of. I know there are certain drawbacks with CNG (in particular fueling facilities), and now with ULSD the emissions differences aren't that great between CNG and ULSD. I also believe that while the cost per gallon is lower, CNG gets you fewer miles per gallon so you end up burning more CNG - but I could be wrong there.

Jason McHuff said...

As I've noted before, from what I've seen Cherriots a) didn't want to stick with one fuel and b) found maintenance costs to outweigh the savings. I don't know what other agencies' experience has been.