The Municipal Transport Company of Madrid (EMT) plans to expand existing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refueling stations at its Operations Centers in the city regions of Fuencarral, Carabanchel and Entrevías. The objective is to be able to supply all the buses propelled by this less polluting fuel.
With a view to the future, EMT has awarded the works to expand the CNG stations for an amount of EUR 5.3 million (USD 6.2 m), with completion proposed for end of 2017. The facility enhancement is necessary to be able to service the entire fleet of buses belonging to each of these centres in the very near future. The three stations will then be able to supply gas to more than 1,200 buses in times of less than 4 minutes per bus.
Currently, the municipal natural gas fleet in Madrid has 945 buses. The fleet will grow to about 1400 at the beginning of 2019, according to the plans of EMT and Ayuntamiento de Madrid (City Council) to acquire new cleaner vehicles. In about five years, the entire fleet will be made up of CNG buses, hybrid and electric buses.
All new buses ordered through 2016 and 2017, except for 15 electric buses, are propelled by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) including 14 articulated buses. In 2017, 80 Scania N-280 buses built by Castrosua and 120 Mercedes Citaro NGT buses have been added to the fleet.
With this ambitious municipal renewal plan, EMT and City Council will reduce the average age of the fleet of municipal buses from the current 8.9 years to 6.6 years in 2019. In parallel, the term of amortization of vehicles will reduce from the current 15 years to 13 years. This horizon will allow EMT to achieve a ‘green’ or ‘clean’ fleet by 2019.
The new CNG buses will be distributed homogeneously by four of the five Operations Centers that the EMT has (Sanchinarro, Fuencarral, Entrevías and Carabanchel). The first units have started to serve this week on line 139 (Dehesa del Príncipe-Carabanchel Alto) and will be joining other routes in the coming months.
The CNG buses, using a fuel that reduces pollutant emissions by 75 percent in relation to diesel, comply with the most stringent European emission regulations, which gives them the label of ‘clean’ buses. These are ideal for Madrid’s Zone of Low Emissions (ZBE) and will contribute to reducing the polluting footprint of the municipal fleet.