Demand Shift: LA Metro switches to CNG-fueled buses

Source: Southern California Gas Co.

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today applauded the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) as it retired the last diesel bus in its fleet, becoming the world's first major transit agency to operate only clean fuel buses - nearly 100 percent of the buses operate on compressed natural gas (CNG).

Metro's achievement demonstrates the key role compressed natural gas plays in the fight against air pollution in the transportation sector, said SoCalGas officials.

"Metro is a true pioneer and leader in the use of low-cost, clean-burning natural gas as a transportation fuel for its bus fleet," said Hal Snyder, vice president of customer solutions for SoCalGas. "Metro's fleet of more than 2,200 CNG buses is having a significant impact on helping one of the smoggiest regions in the nation turn the corner in the fight against air pollution to the benefit of our children and future generations."

According to Metro, compared with diesel buses, its new CNG fleet reduces cancer-causing particulate matter by more than 80 percent. And, because of the switch from diesel to CNG, Metro avoids emitting nearly 300,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per day.

"What Metro has achieved transcends Los Angeles County," said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Don Knabe. "We proved from both a technical and economic standpoint that a large transit agency can operate with alternative clean burning fuels and this has led many other transit agencies to follow our lead. Likewise, what Metro is doing to tap solar energy, recycle and build green facilities is raising the bar for the industry. That's good for our customers, taxpayers and the environment."

Natural gas is a less costly fuel. Mile for mile, natural gas fuel costs can be half that of diesel.

"Metro should be applauded for its leadership in helping to reduce our country's reliance on foreign oil by powering its bus fleet with safe, economical and domestically produced natural gas," said Snyder. "They have set the bar high for the transit industry which has increasingly favored compressed natural gas as its transportation fuel of choice."

In addition to Metro, other Southern California transit operators that have made the switch to compressed natural for some or all of their fleet include Foothill Transit, Orange County Transportation Authority and SunLine Transit in the Coachella Valley.

There are more than 20,000 CNG vehicles now operating in California and more than 100,000 across the nation supported by more than 140 public and 230 private fueling stations in California and about 1,000 across the nation.

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