In South Africa, the City of Tshwane — the metropolitan municipality that forms the local government of northern Gauteng Province — is home to the first bus in sub-Saharan Africa to be propelled by compressed natural gas (CNG). Joining the A Re Yeng bus fleet, the 12 m rigid Mercedes-Benz chassis is equipped with an 8.9 litre natural gas engine and makes provision for 33 seated and 35 standing passengers.
The Executive Mayor, Councillor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, together with the Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, unveiled the bus this week at the Molefe Makinta Station, Church Square. The A Re Yeng CNG buses surpass Euro V standards, have much lower gas emissions, are environmentally-friendly, less noisy and offer lower maintenance costs.
The Executive Mayor said: “We must develop interventions because we have a responsibility to address issues around climate change and this is our way of contributing”. He also said that people are encouraged to transition from private cars to public transport.
Daimler Trucks and Buses South Africa (DTBSA) is supplying around 40 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to the Tshwane Rapid Transit (TRT) system, with the first buses to be in full operation in the first quarter of next year, explained DTBSA executive director Kobus van Zyl in an Engineering News report.
The chassis for the fleet of low-floor CNG buses are being assembled at the DTBSA plant, in East London, while the bus bodies are being manufactured by Busmark, in Randfontein.
Compressed natural gas:
- burns cleaner than diesel;
- cuts fuel costs by up to 40%;
- cuts carbon dioxide by 25%;
- cuts carbon monoxide by 20%;
- does not produce particulates (ash);
- cuts nitrogen oxide by up to 90%;
- is colourless, odourless and non-toxic; and
- is a renewable source of energy.
(Source: A Re Yeng)