Natural gas group formed to educate industry on fueling, maintenance

Posted on September 9, 2010 by Alex Roman, Managing Editor

[IMAGE]MET9Top100-TheT-2.jpg[/IMAGE]The Natural Gas Coalition will hold a meeting and reception at the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) 2010 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, this October.

The coalition was formed to help the transit industry find solutions to natural gas fueling and maintenance issues, as well as to provide networking opportunities for natural gas transit managers, manufacturers, suppliers and industry experts.

"The first real get together was in Orlando at the [2009] APTA Annual Meeting when we had a reception, which I think really opened everybody's eyes and generated a lot of interest," said Dick Ruddell, president of the Texas-based Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T), which founded the group. "Then, there was the meeting in Cleveland at the Bus and Paratransit show that was more about trying to get organized. Now, we are going to combine both of those."

Ruddell said that the idea to form the coalition came about because he is constantly being contacted by other agencies that have questions about The T's natural gas usage, which began in 1998.

"Sometimes I sit down and answer questions, sometimes I have difficulty answering them and I felt like there were more questions out there that weren't getting answered," he said. "So, I felt like I needed some kind of a way to better deal with all of these questions and issues and didn't see any coalition like this that existed and encompassed everybody."

Ron Anderson, The T's director of maintenance, agreed that the transit industry has more questions than answers right now. "It is really surprising sometimes to find what people don't know, and it is our job to get this information out to people that are interested."

Ruddell added that in addition to providing an all-inclusive tent of open communication and help, the coalition will also advocate for important issues impacting the transit industry.

"There is no reason why, when you get a coalition together like this, you cannot do some advocacy when the need arises," he said. "One of the prime examples is the alternative fuel tax credit, which was so successful to help encourage people to use alternative fuels, has lapsed now. Congress needs to reinstitute that credit, because it provides some economic incentive to make the switch to natural gas."

Aside from the informational meeting last May and a new monthly newsletter, the coalition recently sent out a survey to members to get feedback on what services they want the group to provide.

With escalating fuel prices and a growing cry for less oil dependency, natural gas use has begun to grow, making the time right for starting the coalition, according to both Ruddell and Anderson.

"The achievements we made using natural gas came the hard way, through making a lot of mistakes, and it was really difficult the first year we switched," Anderson said. "Today, we have a lot of help out there, both from the gas companies and from other transit agencies, so finding the answers you need is much simpler, which can make the process of switching easier."

Still in its early stages, Ruddell said that he is unsure of which direction the coalition is going — there has been talk of making it an official APTA committee, but for now the group is pleased to have the upcoming meeting and reception in the Annual Meeting's program.

He also added that, though young, the coalition is off to a solid start.

"It's one of those things that when you sit back and take a look at it you think 'yeah, there was a need for it,'" Ruddell said. "People just jumped on this real early and real quick and helped this group get off to a successful start."


View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Fla.'s HART partners with Megabus.com to pilot service option

The agency is already providing enhanced routes and options through a unique 5-year partnership agreement with Megabus.com which began last year, to offer express travel to and from Miami and Orlando for as little as $1.

BusCon 2015 takes Indy by storm with new vehicles, tech and education

The 20th installment of the show featured more than 50 new exhibitors, 70-plus vehicles and plenty of information to inspire attendees.

House moves to delay PTC deadline

A bipartisan measure has been introduced in the lower chamber that would push back the deadline for most railroads to install automated train technology until December 2018.

Volvo celebrates new Nova, Prevost customer delivery center

The new Plattsburgh, N.Y., building will be equipped of a welcoming customer area, 10 bus delivery spaces and offices to enable our customers to continue their professional activities during their stay.

Webinar Helps Passenger Fleet Managers Understand Hybrid Options

Fleet managers for transit agencies, universities and schools, governments and for-hire transit companies are encouraged to register while spaces are still available.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close