The Metro Vancouver city of Surrey is excited about 106 new New Flyer Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses. The buses join the fleet of Coastal Mountain Bus Company, the largest operating company in the integrated TransLink enterprise. They add to the 146 CNG buses in the fleet, operating out of the Port Coquitlam Transit Centre and the Hamilton Transit Centre in Richmond. Just in time for summer, all new CNG buses are climate controlled and set for 20.5°C
The order was supported by the Federal Gas Tax Fund, through which the Government of Canada provides funding for municipal infrastructure, including public transit. The funds are administered in B.C. by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.
The CNG buses will be equipped with 2018 Cummins Westport L9N engines, which provide a significantly reduced carbon footprint (NOx emissions reduction from 0.2 to 0.02g/bhp-Hr) supporting TransLink’s planned fleet rejuvenation initiative and vision for increasingly sustainable transit.
Benefits of the new CNG buses, which replace diesel stock up to 22 years old, include:
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions – 13-21% less than diesel buses
- Fuel cost savings – 60% less than diesel (saving $2.1 million annually)
- Longer engine life – additional 200,000 kms (compared to typical diesel fleet)
The addition of these CNG buses also increases TransLink’s eligibility of claiming carbon credits under the provincial low carbon fuel standard program. In 2017, after three years of involvement in the program, its credits amounted to $1.5 million. Also, the cost of purchasing the new CNG buses is offset by contributions from FortisBC through its Natural Gas for Transportation vehicle incentive program.
The total cost of the CNG bus purchase, along with upgrades to the Surrey Transit Centre that includes a new fueling facility and other works to accommodate the new buses, is approximately $86 million. Of this, about 80% of the total comes from the federal gas tax, allocated by the Metro Vancouver board of directors. The remainder is funded by TransLink.
Roger Dall’Antonia, President and CEO of gas supplier FortisBC commented: “Today’s announcement is further evidence of the wide range of value natural gas can provide in working towards a low carbon future. Using compressed natural gas substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions and costs less than half of traditional diesel fuel, which is critical at times when gas prices are high. We commend TransLink for demonstrating their ongoing commitment to sustainability with the conversion of a large portion of their transit buses.”
Related article: BC’s TransLink Orders New Flyer Buses with Cummins LN9 Engines