University

Web Extra: How are you preparing your alt-fuel fleet for winter?

Posted on December 12, 2011

Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District, which serves the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, has 32 hybrid diesel-electric buses. The agency keeps bulk tanks of DEF in a heated wash bay area.
Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District, which serves the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, has 32 hybrid diesel-electric buses. The agency keeps bulk tanks of DEF in a heated wash bay area.

Winter is upon us and temperatures are dropping, even here in Southern California. In colder climates that have actual weather, transit agencies such as New York City Transit are bolstering their equipment and service strategies for the inevitable snow, ice and freezing temps.
 
Since many university transit systems incorporate alternative-fuel and hybrid vehicles in their fleets, we asked system operators how they are preparing these vehicles to keep them running in top condition over the next few months.
Here are their responses:

“There are no issues expected for fueling [our] hybrid coaches during the winter months. However, the new 2010 DEF engines which are in the hybrid buses do require diesel exhaust fluid to be added. This fluid will freeze. Therefore, the bulk tanks of DEF are kept in our wash bay area which is heated. That fluid is dispensed to the fleet from there. There is a heating system on each coach that keeps the DEF tank from freezing and this will be a another preventive maintenance step that will have to be performed on a scheduled basis.

Currently, [Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District] has 32 hybrid diesel-electric buses: five 30-foot Gillig buses, four 60-foot articulated New Flyer buses, and 23 40-foot New Flyer buses. We have an order in place with New Flyer for an additional 13 40-foot buses and have begun receiving these vehicles; we expect to receive the full complement in the next month or so. After receipt of that order of 13, we’ll have a total of 45 diesel-electric hybrid buses.”

Jan Kijowski, marketing director
Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
Urbana, Ill.


“Blacksburg Transit (BT) has nine hybrid-electric vehicles; seven, 40-foot and two 60-foot articulated. We’ve operated these vehicles for almost 18 months and have not had any fueling issues to date.  BT is fortunate enough to be able to store all vehicles inside year-round so this obviously helps keep them in good running condition. Out of the nine hybrids, [so far] one is wrapped to identify it as hybrid-electric.  We have a grant to develop creative for the rest of the hybrid vehicles, but haven’t completed this yet.”

Fiona Rhodes, marketing specialist
Blacksburg Transit
Blacksburg, Va.


“We operate with 20% soy biodiesel. Our fleet is stored inside overnight. We didn't have any special fuel problems last winter and don't anticipate any this year either.”

Mary Gaston, assistant general manager
Muncie Indiana Transit System
Muncie, Ind.


“We use biodiesel and we change our formulation in the winter, plus use additive to make sure it does not gel. Also we limit the percentage in the formulation to help.”

Jude Kiah, director
Go West Transit
Macomb, Ill.


"Our vehicles are hybrid electric. They have a gasoline engine with an integrated battery component and therefore do not require any changes in fuel for winter use."

Executive Director of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, Mich.

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

More News

Uber investing $25K in U. of Md. student startups

Students at the university's "Startup Shell," a collaborative space and technology incubator, may compete in business competitions for potential investor grants from Uber. The partnership will also include mentoring opportunities and the creation of an "innovation council," which will include students, faculty and staff, for crowdsourcing and development.

Former U. of Mich. grad to lead Ann Arbor transit agency

Matt Carpenter has more than 15 years of experience in the transit industry, including the past eight as CEO of Strathcona County Transit in the Edmonton area. He has a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan, where he studied from 2001 to 2003.

Gov. urges U. Illinois employees to use Amtrak

Executive Order 8 addresses Illinois’ fiscal crisis by recommending that state agencies require employees, whenever possible, to take public transportation or carpool when traveling. The state hopes this action will reduce travel reimbursements in gas money.

Ohio State U. to build CNG station

The university recently issued an RFQ and is evaluating potential locations. Four of its new buses are powered by CNG, and the school says it sees a benefit to converting more of its vehicles to alternative fuels.

Pupil transportation veteran shifts to Villanova university job

In his new role, Jerry Rineer works with Villanova students who have mobility issues, providing support for them as they make their way across the 254-acre campus. The private university, which has a total enrollment of about 10,700, has a large fleet of vans and other vehicles to serve its students.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

Please sign in or register to .    Close