The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) announced the first of 77 buses powered by clean propane gas have arrived at its Copley Park facility. These are the first propane-powered buses in San Diego’s transit fleet and are estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two million pounds per year.
“MTS has made great strides to reduce its carbon footprint in San Diego over the past decade. Propane-powered buses are the latest example,” said MTS CEO Paul Jablonski. “Over the lifecycle of all 77 propane buses purchased, the San Diego region will experience a reduction of more than 13 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.”
MTS operates a fleet of 37 minibuses and 173 paratransit buses, primarily for its complementary ADA paratransit operations and some low-capacity fixed routes. To upgrade the existing fleet, MTS purchased 31 minibuses and 46 paratransit buses, which are scheduled for delivery at various times within the next 10 months. The first five paratransit buses were delivered earlier this month and put into service late last week. The new paratransit buses are 2016 Starcraft Allstars on Ford E-450 chassis. The minibuses are 2016 El Dorado National-Aero Elite 320 on Ford F-550 chassis.
Previously, all paratransit buses and minibuses were powered by unleaded gasoline. In addition to the environmental benefits, propane gas is significantly less expensive. By converting 77 buses to propane, MTS will realize a total cost savings of nearly $5.8 million during the five to seven-year operational lifecycle of the vehicles.