Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Years after Steve Fung recommended it, Trimet is considering 'clean fuel'

And it would be the Merlo Garage that would have the honor of having the natural gas buses housed there.        Steve Fung gives advice on purchasing buses 


Erik H. said...

Wait a second.

TriMet used that ARRA stimulus funding - what, $6 million total - to build a new diesel fueling station at Merlo Garage?

And how much money will TriMet blow having to tear out all of that BRAND NEW facility, to support CNG fueling? You can't use the same equipment to pump diesel fuel and CNG, so that means gutting everything, OR building an entirely separate and new fueling facility for the CNG buses.

And why isn't TriMet "testing" the CNG buses, like they insist on "testing" the hybrid buses which require NO modification of fueling facilities?

Jason McHuff said...

At least some of the money went to build the bus wash and possibly the LIFT base. I have no idea what TriMet's specific plan is or if they even have one yet.

Also, CNG of course requires major investment, so it wouldn't make sense to only use the fuel facility for a small number of vehicles. It was made clear that TriMet is going to figure out if CNG makes sense before committing to anything.

Lastly, a bigger holdup in getting hybrid buses may be funding.

Nedwell said...

At Oregon Zoo in the 1990's they had a zoo tram that drove the grounds daily pulling two trailers of passengers. It was pulled by a converted airport baggage tractor that ran on CNG fuel from a filling setup provided by NW Natural. It was discontinued because of a zoo remodel that didn't allow for the existing tram's right of way through the grounds. The filling station was converted to an exhibit building!

Probably not as applicable to Trimet operations as all the transit agencies in SoCal that have had CNG buses for years. As I remember, the Zoo tug was a tough starter some cold mornings, but I doubt the cure is beyond modern technology.