Calgary Opens Largest North American Transit Facility for Natural Gas Buses

| Canada, Calgary AB | Source: City of Calgary; CNGVA

Calgary Transit Stoney Facility bus hoistIn the Canadian province of Alberta, the City of Calgary is celebrating the opening of its long awaited massive new bus storage and maintenance facility for Calgary Transit – the largest indoor Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) bus fueling complex in North America and one of the largest in the world. Investing in the facility means Calgarians now have access to a more effective and environmentally friendly transit system.

The new 44,300 square metre Stoney Transit Facility was officially opened yesterday 12 March in north-central Calgary . It is capable of housing more than 470 40-foot buses, with 36 maintenance bays (including two detailed cleaning bays), on-site compressed natural gas fuelling infrastructure and associated staff facilities. It will also provide diesel bus fuelling and operations, recognizing the transition period needed to introduce CNG buses into Transit’s fleet. When fully operational, the facility will save tax payers more than $4 million per year on fuel costs.

“I’m so pleased that our fleet of CNG buses are now part of our Calgary Transit fleet,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Investments in transit are among the best investments any city can make — they are investments in the environment, reducing congestion and improving mobility.”

According to an associated press release, the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA) reports Calgary Transit has been operating four CNG buses for several years and has proven that they meet transit service requirements, even in Calgary’s cold winters. This month Calgary Transit is adding forty new CNG buses utilizing the new 2018 L9N Cummins Westport engine. Over the next three years, Calgary Transit plans to add an additional 150 natural gas-powered buses and replace a total of 450 diesel buses by 2025.

Benefits of CNG Buses

Calgary Transit Stoney Facility bus bayUse of CNG as fuel will result in three important benefits for Calgarians. First, these buses will generate savings of approximately $3.9 million annually by 2021 as a result of the lower fuel cost of natural gas. Second, a CNG bus produces approximately 17 per cent less GHG emissions (C02e kg/km) on a well-to-wheel basis compared to diesel. Third, these buses will reduce air and noise pollution. Natural gas engines are much cleaner burning and the Cummins Westport L9N engine has 90 per cent fewer NOx emissions than the current North American EPA standard. When idling, CNG buses are also approximately 10 times quieter than diesel buses.

Calgary Transit is a leader in transit innovation and visionary when it comes to fuel cost and emissions reductions that will benefit Calgarians for many years to come”, claims Bruce Winchester, Executive Director of CNGVA.

Alberta’s natural gas vehicle industry worked collaboratively with the City of Calgary in building this facility.  The ATCO Gas Distribution Division will supply a high inlet pressure gas service, enabling the city to reduce compressor capital and operating costs.

“ATCO was very pleased to support Calgary Transit on this project. This leading-edge fueling facility demonstrates how natural gas can play an important role in contributing to a low-emissions and more sustainable future. Alberta’s abundant and affordable natural gas can help medium and heavy-duty transportation fleets significantly reduce their fuel costs and emissions”, commented Ryan Germaine, Vice President of Operations, Calgary & Edmonton Regions, ATCO.

Partners in the Stoney Transit Facility 

A public-private partnership approach gave Calgary an affordable, high value/low risk investment and would not have been possible without funding from the Federal Government and Province of Alberta and our partner Plenary Infrastructure Calgary LP’s (Project Co) expertise and resources. Capital cost is $174 million, with up to $46.9 million from the Federal Government.

Calgary Transit Stoney Facility cleaning bayPlenary’s planning notes the Storage and Transit facility will be LEED Gold certified and will have a photovoltaic system with sections of ‘green roof’.

“Investing in public transit infrastructure is essential to ensuring people can spend less time in traffic commuting home from work and more precious time with their families,” said the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “The new Stoney Transit Facility will help meet growing demand, support better daily transit services and protect the environment by supporting cleaner energy systems.”

“Our government has a strong record of investing in a sustainable transportation network for Calgary, supporting both vehicle and public infrastructure,” said the Honourable Brian Mason, Minister of Alberta Transportation. “This facility means more Calgarians will benefit from efficient, safe and environmentally friendly public transit, spending less time in traffic and easily getting to where they need to go.”

Related article: Calgary Issues RfP for 40 CNG Buses Plus Extensive Options


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