BC Transit continues to add compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to its fleet across the province as part of its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. BC Transit will be welcoming its first 30-foot medium duty CNG buses to its fleet over the next two years.
“These new CNG-powered buses will help meet growing demand, support better daily transit services for users, and help protect the environment by supporting cleaner energy systems,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
Apart from the 30-foot medium duty CNG buses, new heavy duty buses have been added to BC Transit fleets across the province, and more are on the way. Whistler welcomed four new buses, while fleets in Nanaimo and Kamloops have each added two.
The new 40-foot heavy duty CNG buses are part of the approximately $180 million in federal, provincial and local government funding for BC Transit projects, made possible through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF), while the new medium duty buses are part of the more than $150 million in federal, provincial, and local government funding announced so far for BC Transit projects under the Investing in Canadian Infrastructure Program (ICIP).
“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and rising to the challenge of climate change is what the CleanBC plan is all about. Seeing more CNG buses on our roads is great,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena. “While public transit is already the greener option, we will continue to work with BC Transit on further reducing our emissions.”
“These new CNG buses are a step forward in our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout our transit systems,” says Erinn Pinkerton, president and CEO, BC Transit. “The investments in Whistler, Nanaimo, and Kamloops have demonstrated the benefits of using CNG buses, and I look forward to seeing more CNG buses across the province.”
The medium duty Vicinity CNG buses by Grande West can carry 24 seated passengers and up to 20 standing passengers. The 34 buses represent an investment of $17 million. To help offset the initial costs associated with the purchase of the new CNG buses, FortisBC will provide funding of up to $346,375. This funding represents 25 per cent of the cost differential of CNG buses over diesel counterparts.
“Moving to compressed natural gas from gasoline or diesel is an all-around win for our transportation customers by cutting both fuel costs and emissions,” said Doug Stout, vice president of market development and external relations at FortisBC, supplier of natural gas. “We’re proud to work with BC Transit to take strong steps forward to a lower-carbon future.”
The heavy duty XN40 Xcelsior CNG buses by New Flyer can carry 35 seated passengers and 46 standing passengers. The purchase of the eight new vehicles represents an investment of $6 million in the Whistler, Nanaimo and Kamloops Regional Transit Systems.
The earlier CNG rollouts in these three communities have demonstrated how best in class technology has been successfully used to deliver dependable, sustainable transportation solutions. The existing BC Transit fleet has 128 CNG buses. New transit operations and maintenance facilities currently under construction in Campbell River, Cowichan Valley and Central Fraser Valley are all being equipped with the provisions to house a future CNG fleet.