Laketran, a public transit service based in Painesville Township, Ohio, expects to receive and deploy eight propane-fueled paratransit buses at the end of July.
The transit company partnered with Alliance AutoGas, Icom North America, Tesco Bus Corp. and Superior Energy Systems to transition its paratransit fleet to autogas. It also invested about $1.6 million in infrastructure for its autogas buses in May of this year. The new paratransit buses will feature Icom’s JTG II propane liquid injection system.
“We think this will be a relationship for many years to come,” says Ronny Martinez, autogas fleet development specialist at Icom. “We believe the bus market is low-hanging fruit for autogas. You can deploy vehicles fast, there’s infrastructure available and it’s a good fit for transit agencies.”
The company expects to reduce fuel costs by using propane buses. Laketran selected Icom’s propane liquid injection system because of its compatibility with the Ford Transit chassis and because it works better in cold, northern climates, according to Laketran. In addition, the transit company has a five-year plan to expand its fleet to 85 propane-fueled paratransit buses.
“Laketran is always looking for more efficient ways to operate and reduce cost,” says Ben Capelle, deputy general manager at Laketran. “Right now it costs about $64 a day per vehicle to fuel a Dial-a-Ride bus on diesel. We will reduce the cost to about $40 a day per vehicle running on propane.”