March 21, 2013

Mich. transit receives 60 ElDorado propane buses

Flint, Mich.’s Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) expanded its “Go Green” initiative with the highly anticipated arrival of six ElDorado National propane vehicles. The propane vehicles will arrive six each week for the next 10 weeks, for a total of 60 new propane vehicles.

Built at the El Dorado National plant in Salina, Kan., the vehicles will be inspected and taken to Hoekstra Transportation in Grand Rapids for the conversion to propane. Once that is completed, the vehicles will be shipped to the transit agency. The conversion should take about one week.

Once the vehicles arrive at MTA’s Flint facility, installation of an automatic vehicle locator, mobile data terminal and mobile DVR with cameras will take place, and then, the vehicle can be placed in to service.

Fifty-five of the propane vehicles will have 10 fixed seats, with two positions for wheelchairs. Five vehicles will six fixed seats with four positions for wheelchairs.

The new propane vehicles will replace older vehicles that have been used to provide Your Ride transportation services. Some of the older vehicles have as much as 600,000 miles on them.

The propane vehicles were acquired through federal grants with matching state funds.  

“This is a very exciting time for the mass transportation authority,” said Charlene A. Kowalski, director, marketing/customer service. “Our ‘go green’ initiative began a year ago with the leasing of the hydrogen fuel cell bus and the grand opening of our alternative fuel facility in Grand Blanc. The purchase of these 60 propane vehicles ensures that the MTA is in the forefront of changing its fleet to become more environmentally friendly. These types of vehicles will allow for a more sustainable future, while providing for an improved experience for our passengers.”

Based on 200,000 miles of operation, each vehicle will put 82,956 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Kowalski said that in addition, using the propane vehicles will save about $40,000 per vehicle during the life of the vehicle.

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