Earlier this month in New Castle, Delaware Transit Corporation unveiled the highly anticipated new onsite propane fuel station along with plans to increase its existing fleet of propane-powered paratransit buses to 130 vehicles.
After working with DTC on a two-year pilot program testing five ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas paratransit buses, the agency was so pleased with the results that its leaders purchased 50 more this year, with plans to purchase an additional 75 by FY2018.
“Our first five propane-fueled buses collectively traveled 450,000 miles with no fuel system-related failures, and saved $15,000 in fuel costs alone,” said John T. Sisson, chief executive officer of Delaware Transit Corporation. “That fact alone made it an easy decision to expand the propane program with our new private fuel stations and 130 buses.”
This increase will bring the total number of propane autogas-fueled vehicles in DART’s paratransit fleet to almost half the fleet — an astounding step forward in improving local air quality by reducing harmful emissions.
Each of the new propane autogas paratransit buses will reduce more than 91,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over its lifetime compared to gasoline models. In addition to reducing the greenhouses gases emitted into the local communities, the transit agency also expects to see a significantly reduced spend on vehicle maintenance and fuel costs. Currently, DTC pays only $.78 per gallon for propane autogas compared with $1.75 per gallon for gasoline.
“I’m pleased that DART is scaling up its use of low emissions technologies to power its bus fleet,” said Governor Jack Markell. “The use of cleaner-burning fuels is a sound investment that saves energy costs and improves public health and our environment.”
Propane autogas is a nontoxic, non-carcinogenic and non-corrosive fuel. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies the fuel as a non-contaminant. It is the leading alternative fuel in the United States and the third most commonly used vehicle fuel, following gasoline and diesel. About 25 million vehicles travel worldwide with propane in their fuel tank.
For more information on ROUSH CleanTech’s deployments of alternative fuel systems and on-site fueling stations, please visit www.roushcleantech.com.