Saint Petersburg is to begin a program of conversion of buses to Compressed natural Gas (CNG). The city recently hosted a meeting between Viktor Zubkov Chairman of the Management Committee and Director General of Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo and Georgy Poltavchenko, Governor of Saint Petersburg to discuss preparation of a Gasification Plan for public transport, municipal and specialty vehicles of the city for 2013 to 2020.
Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo, Gazprom’s special-purpose subsidiary for NGV market development, and the Saint Petersburg Government will elaborate a joint program for the expanded use of natural gas fuel. The document will require the company to develop the city’s Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) filling station network. The Saint Petersburg Government, in its turn, will provide favorable conditions to expand the use of NGV fuel, particularly, gasification of motor vehicles in municipal organizations and in companies implementing state orders.
Conversion of buses to natural gas fuel will begin with the bus depots in Khrustalnaya and Gusarskaya Streets. The sites were chosen with regard to the urgency of eco-friendly transport introduction: one bus depot is located in the city center, the other one – in the suburb of Saint Petersburg included into the list of UNESCO heritage sites.
In addition, it is planned to use budget funds to purchase gas-powered buses for bus depot No.7 of Passazhiravtotrans situated in the Moscow district.
Over 70 per cent of the city population use public transport. In the meantime, the increase in fuel prices is one of the major factors providing for the growth of travel costs. Moreover, motor vehicles running on conventional types of fuel are the main source of air pollution in big cities, harmful to public health and causing damage to architectural monuments.