The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System on Wednesday rolled out its new fleet of buses fueled by propane autogas. The agency said the alternatively fueled buses help reduce its operating costs and reduce emissions by 2 million pounds per year.
“This is a great example of how MTS is realizing cost-savings and helping communities reduce emissions,” said MTS Chief Executive Officer Paul Jablonski. “MTS will save about $5.8 million over the five- to seven-year lifecycle of the vehicles and reduce the carbon intensity by 71 percent.”
MTS purchased 31 minibuses and 46 paratransit buses fueled by propane; all will be stationed at the agency’s Copley Park Division in Kearny Mesa where MTS operates 178 paratransit vehicles and 37 minibuses. With the switch to propane, 35 percent of the Copley Park fleet is now operating on alternative fuel, according to the agency.
“Propane autogas is a low carbon alternative fuel that reduces greenhouse gases by up to 25 percent, 60 percent less carbon monoxide, and fewer particulate emissions versus gasoline,” according to an agency statement. “Over the lifetime of the fleet, more than 7.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide will be eliminated from MTS’s total carbon footprint — the equivalent of taking 747 passenger vehicles off the road for a year according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s equivalencies calculator.”
“Historically, propane autogas costs 40 percent less than gasoline and up to 50 percent less than diesel,” according to the agency statement. “The current gasoline price MTS pays is $1.99 per gallon and the propane prices is $1.39 per gallon. The paratransit vehicles travel 40,000 miles annually and the minibuses travel 45,000 miles annually.”
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