Sustainability

Sun Tran Adds Hybrids, Taps Biodiesel

Posted on March 18, 2013 by Alex Roman, Managing Editor

Tucson, Ariz.-based Sun Tran recently placed 47 new alternatively-fueled buses — 10 using hybrid-electric technology and 37 utilizing B5 biodiesel — over a six-month period. The new buses replace almost 19% of the fleet and will be used throughout the system on regular fixed routes.

“In the late 1980s, there were growing concerns about Tucson’s air quality, which led to Sun Tran and the City of Tucson to begin experimenting with alternative fuels,” Sun Tran GM Kate Riley explains. “In 1987, Sun Tran converted a 35-foot GMC bus to use both compressed natural gas (CNG) and diesel fuel. This was one of the first such buses in the country, and the start of the transition to utilize alternative fuels.”

By 1997, nearly half of Sun Tran’s fleet used CNG technology, and by the spring of 2006, 100% of Sun Tran’s fleet ran on cleaner-burning fuels — specifically, CNG and biodiesel at that time.

Currently three-quarters of Sun Tran’s fleet exclusively utilizes biodiesel fuel, which is a domestically produced, renewable fuel that can be manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats or recycled restaurant greases. Biodiesel-fueled buses also emit significantly fewer particulates than traditional diesel-fueled vehicles.

The 57 buses purchased since 2010 are equipped with selective catalytic reduction technology that utilizes a urea solution injected into the exhaust gases to meet tighter U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards for nitrogen oxides.

The buses, built by Gillig, have replaced 15-year-old vehicles in Sun Tran’s fleet, decreasing the average age from 6.8 to 4.6 years.

In addition to the 197 B5 biodiesel buses, SunTran’s fleet includes 45 CNG and 11 hybrid-electric/biodiesel vehicles. Riley explains that SunTran plans on keeping flexibility in their future alternative-fueled vehicle choices.

“There is no plan to completely run any one fuel type. Sun Tran prides itself on the use of alternative fuels, but wants to ensure we continue to be flexible as additional vehicles are purchased,” she says. “As fuel technologies improve, we will continue to procure the best fuel options available at that time.”

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

More News

BYD debuts SkyRail at Mayors Summit in Mexico City

BYD President/Chairman Wang Chuanfu made the announcement as he called on countries around the world to reduce the earth’s temperature by 1 degree Celsius.

CCW wins contract to convert 4 Calif. buses to all-electric ZEPS system

This contract comes on the heels of a project CCW completed in December 2015 for GTrans, in which one gasoline hybrid bus was converted to ZEPS technology.

Marin Transit to add 2 BYD electric buses

The $1.6 million pilot project will evaluate the performance, reliability, cost, and sustainability of the buses on various routes throughout Marin County.

CCCTA adds WAVE in-route wireless charging at BART station

The system uses a charging pad that lies flush with the pavement, is sturdy enough to be run over all day without damage, and wirelessly charges the bus during routine stops.

EXCLUSIVE: Europe's Air Pollution Issues and Some Cities' Solutions

Much of the impact of pollution has been as a result of waves of industry and resource extraction and processing, but much is also as a result of our lifestyle choices and, in particular, the choices that we have made in terms of mobility.

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

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational 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