Phoenix City Council has approved the Phoenix Public Transit Department to buy 120 buses that use compressed natural gas (CNG), replacing buses that run on liquefied natural gas bus (LNG). The change will keep the Phoenix Public Transit Department in line with a majority of the nation’s transit properties said Neal Young, department director, “Compressed natural gas has become the public transit industry’s standard for natural gas powered vehicles.”
CNG buses are cheaper because of the vehicle’s manufacturing process and the dense fuel can be delivered via pipeline to bus fueling sites. LNG must be super cooled and delivered via truck.
Phoenix’s initial investment in LNG buses and fueling equipment came in the 1990s with a state-mandated conversion from gasoline and diesel to alternative fuels. As part of its new long-term fuel strategy, the city will upgrade its LNG fueling sites to dispense CNG without having a total refurbishment of its bus facilities.
The 120 new CNG buses, to be manufactured by North American bus builder New Flyer, will replace the same number of retiring LNG buses and will be procured for $61 million from a regional cooperative purchasing agreement with the Regional Public Transportation Authority. The new buses will arrive between the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014.
After delivery, Phoenix’s 465 Valley Metro buses will be 65% natural gas (CNG and LNG), and 35% ultra-low sulfur diesel both which are considered clean-burning fuels.
(Source: City of Phoenix)