Based on findings by Purdue professor Wallace Tyner, a professor in agricultural economics, CityBus is now considering converting their fleet to compressed natural gas. The CityBus fleet currently consists of 73 diesel and hybrid buses.
The study modeled several processes for replacing the fleet on different schedules, incorporating a mixture of diesel, hybrid and CNG buses.
”We were able to model their whole system,” Tyner said. “Under most cases, it pays for (CityBus) to convert.”
By replacing the current fleet with compressed natural gas buses, Tyner’s report predicts CityBus would save around $3 million.
Despite the price of the buses and filling station, there is a three out of four chance that switching to compressed natural gas buses would save CityBus money over a 20-year period. Martin Sennett, the general manager for CityBus, said he is currently in discussions with their financial committee.
”It doesn’t take a lot of those $150,000 buses — it takes about 30 of them to pay for the (filling) station,” Sennett said.
In addition to saving taxpayers’ money, the new buses would be less damaging to the environment. Tyner said compressed natural gas burns much cleaner than diesel, since it has significantly fewer particulate emissions, often recognizable by the black cloud released from exhaust pipes.
Students and CityBus pass-holders won’t see much of a change in their day-to-day commutes, but they will notice a few things; aesthetically speaking, the buses will have a slightly different shape.
“The things students would notice is that they run quieter, they run cleaner, there are no particulate emissions and they have lower carbon dioxide emissions.”