The delivery of 19 New Flyer buses this winter means that the City of Kamloops in British Columbia will boast a fully Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered conventional fleet. CNG-fuelled buses reduce operating costs for BC Transit and for Kamloops as the fuel is less expensive and has a smaller carbon footprint compared to traditional transit vehicles.
The new buses are part of the almost CAD 160 million (USD 120 m) in federal and provincial funding for BC Transit projects that was first announced in June 2016, together with Premier Christy Clark and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The benefits of CNG technology are environmental and economic. According to natural gas supplier FortisBC, using CNG reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 15 to 25 per cent, and it also costs 25 to 50 per cent less than traditional diesel fuel. Production of clean burning CNG also supports British Columbians across the province, providing meaningful employment in both rural and urban communities. The buses are fueled at a station built and maintained by Clean Energy Fuels.
“These additional 19 CNG buses will build off the success of the first 25, making Kamloops our second fully CNG fleet,” said BC Transit President and CEO Manuel Achadinha. “We look forward to introducing CNG technology to more communities across the province.”
The first 25 CNG buses arrived in Kamloops in 2014/2015, and in that time have resulted in a six per cent decrease in operating costs per trip and an eight per cent operating cost recovery increase in 2015/2016. The buses have also proved very reliable, clocking an average of 63,000 kilometres each in their first year of service.
The successful CNG rollout in both Kamloops and Nanaimo sets an example for the rest of the province and country, demonstrating how best in class technology can be used to deliver dependable transportation solutions that contribute to a more sustainable future.
The CNG dispenser at the Regional District of Nanaimo is only used to refill 49 CNG buses. It takes 6 – 10 minutes to fill a CNG bus. One full fuel load is more than sufficient for a full day of operation for a CNG bus; the CNG tanks on each bus have a 500 Diesel Litre Equivalent (DLE) capacity.
Each of the XN40 Xcelsior New Flyer buses can carry up to 81 passengers. The purchase of the 19 new vehicles represents an investment of $12 million (USD 9 m) in the Kamloops Transit System. To help offset the initial costs associated with the purchase of the new CNG buses, FortisBC will provide funding of up to $378,000 (USD 281,000). This funding represents 40 per cent of the cost differential of CNG buses over diesel counterparts.
In March, BC Transit signed an agreement with Clean Energy to build and maintain a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in Whistler. The $3.2 million (USD 2.4 m) new fueling station is expected to be operational by the end of 2017.
In addition to the new fueling station, Whistler will receive 25 new CNG-powered buses in early 2018. The purchase of the 25 new vehicles represents an investment of $17 million (USD 12.7 m) in the Whistler Transit System.
(Source: BC Transit)