San Diego Metropolitan Transit System adds propane buses

October 14, 2016 By    
The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (San Diego MTS) committed 77 of its buses to propane autogas. Photo courtesy of San Diego MTS.

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (San Diego MTS) committed 77 of its buses to propane autogas. Photo courtesy of San Diego MTS.

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (San Diego MTS) plans to add 77 propane-powered buses to its fleet to use at its Copley Park facility.

San Diego MTS operates a fleet of 37 minibuses and 173 paratransit buses. To upgrade the fleet, San Diego MTS purchased 31 minibuses and 46 paratransit buses that run on autogas. The company put its first five propane buses into service in mid-September.

The minibuses are 2016 El Dorado National-Aero Elite 320s on Ford F-550 chassis, and the paratransit buses are 2016 Starcraft Allstars on Ford E-450 chassis. Previously, all minibuses and paratransit buses were powered by unleaded gasoline.

According to San Diego MTS, these are the first propane-powered buses in San Diego’s transit fleet. The company estimates it will reduce about 2 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year by using the autogas buses. San Diego MTS will also experience a total cost savings of nearly $5.8 million during the five- to seven-year operational lifecycle of the vehicles, the company adds.

“MTS has made great strides to reduce its carbon footprint in San Diego over the past decade,” says Paul Jablonski, CEO of San Diego MTS. “Propane-powered buses are the latest example.”

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