NGVAmerica News Week in Review: October 3, 2016
- Washington, DC to Expand Transit Fleet with 100 New Flyer CNG Buses
- NGVAmerica’s Godlewski to Speak at 2016 ATA Management Conference & Exhibition
- San Antonio Transit Agency to Add 135 CNG Buses to Fleet
- Richmond International Airport Converts 21 Parking Shuttles to CNG
- Trillium CNG Continuing Service to Arkansas Transit Authority
- EPA Requests Applications to Reduce Diesel Emissions from School Buses
- Finland Adds the World´s First LNG-Powered Icebreaker to Fleet
Washington, DC to Expand Transit Fleet with 100 New Flyer CNG Buses
September 26, 2016
New Flyer of America announced the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) exercised options for 100 heavy-duty 40-ft. New Flyer Xcelsior CNG buses.
The 100 options valued at approximately $56 million were exercised off a contract signed in June, 2013. To date, 500 buses have been exercised off this contract of which 329 have already been delivered to WMATA and 75 XDE40 or 60-foot buses remain to be exercised.
The buses will be deployed to support the Priority Corridor Network (PCN) focused on improving service of 24 of the busiest routes that today serve half of WMATA’s 440,000 daily riders. New Flyer’s Xcelsior buses will add over 100,000 new daily rides to the PCN and is expected to save each passenger up to 50 percent on their typical travel time.
WMATA currently provides over 2.3 million trips to over 4 million residents every year, with a predicted increase in fleet size from 1,505 buses in 2013 to 2,060 by 2025. WMATA’s growing ridership increases by approximately 40,000 trips per year and has a service area spanning 1,500 square miles.
“With over 1,200 buses delivered to WMATA since 2002, New Flyer is thrilled to continue our relationship with WMATA and be a partner they can continue to rely on,” said Paul Soubry, New Flyer’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
NGVAmerica’s Godlewski to Speak at 2016 ATA Management Conference & Exhibition
October 3, 2016
NGVAmerica President Matt Godlewski is to participate in a panel discussion “Natural Gas – A Game Changer or a Passing Fad?” being held as part of the 2016 ATA Management Conference & Exhibition (MCE) at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The panel is part of the Educational Sessions on Monday, October 3, 2016 and will be held from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
The session, which will be moderated by Glen Kedzie, ATA’s Vice President Energy and Environmental Counsel, will explore the significant advancements that have been made to improve the reliability, efficiency, affordability, and implementation of natural gas, making it a leading sustainable fuel for transportation fleets.
Godlewski will be joined by Joe Oleson, Managing Director, Equipment and Maintenance Support, FedEx Freight; Mike Ahart, Vice President, Transportation, Dean Foods Company; Bill Nowicke, COO, Agility Fuel Systems; and Rob Neitzke, President, Cumins-Westport to discuss the current and future state of natural gas fueling.
MCE is the trucking industry’s annual event designed for top executives. MCE provides access to government and industry policy makers, top suppliers, and industry experts that impact today’s rapidly changing business, regulatory and political environment.
For more information, visit the event website.
San Antonio Transit Agency to Add 135 CNG Buses to Fleet
September 28, 2016
VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, Texas has approved the agency’s $219.9 million fiscal year 2017 operating budget that includes the replacement of 135 aging diesel buses with new buses powered by clean-burning CNG. The decision reflects the agency’s environmental stewardship and will lower fuel costs. VIA’s new fiscal year began October 1, 2016.
“The new budget reflects VIA’s commitment to connecting the community through enhancing customer convenience, using technology and innovation, and applying our limited financial resources to do more with less,” said VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt.
VIA Metropolitan Transit serves 14 member cities in the Greater San Antonio Region and the unincorporated areas of Bexar County. VIA operates seven days a week on 90 routes and provided 42.2 million rides across the region in 2015. VIA’s primary objective in the new fiscal year, which began October 1, 2016, is to improve transit services and amenities throughout its more than 1,200 square-mile service area.
Richmond International Airport Converts 21 Parking Shuttles to CNG
September 26, 2016
Richmond International Airport (RIC) in Virginia has completed the conversion of its entire EasyPark parking shuttle fleet, which includes 21 shuttles in all, to environmentally-friendly CNG. The conversion from diesel to CNG shuttles represents an approximate $4.7 million investment in vehicles, a permanent fueling station, and related infrastructural improvements to support the use of natural gas.
“With three years of CNG experience, it’s clear that converting to CNG was the right choice,” said airport president and CEO Jon E. Mathiasen, AAE. “The Airport is delivering a better product, enjoying savings on energy costs, reducing tailpipe emissions, and seeing reduced engine wear and tear on our shuttles.”
RIC purchases natural gas from the City of Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities. RIC’s original CNG program launched in August 2013 with nine shuttles and was assisted by a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program grant supported by the Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization. Since then, the airport has purchased 12 new parking shuttles as well as CNG-powered maintenance vehicles.
Trillium CNG Continuing Service to Arkansas Transit Authority
September 27, 2016
Rock Region METRO, based in North Little Rock, Arkansas, has selected Love’s Trillium CNG to continue providing complete maintenance services on its CNG fueling station. Love’s Trillium was originally selected in 2014 to design, build, operate and maintain a new CNG fueling station to fuel their bus fleet.
“We understand passengers in central Arkansas count on Rock Region to safely get them to work, home or leisure activities, and it’s important to us to keep systems performing at their maximum capabilities and to rapidly respond to any request through our 24/7 monitoring service,” said Bill Cashmareck, general manager of natural gas for Love’s.
Trillium will continue to provide services to the private station that can fuel up to 75 CNG buses daily for the next three years with options for up to five years. Rock Region METRO serves 3 million passengers per year. The agency, which introduced 15 CNG buses to its fleet in summer 2015, plans to replace its remaining 43 diesel buses with CNG buses by the end of 2025.
Love’s Travel Stops operates 10 travel stops in the state of Arkansas. The West Memphis location offers Love’s Fast-Fill CNG for heavy duty trucks and a CNG fueling option for motorists.
EPA Requests Applications to Reduce Diesel Emissions from School Buses
September 29, 2016
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the availability of approximately $7 million in rebates to public school bus fleet owners to help them replace or retrofit older school buses to reduce diesel emissions and improve air quality.
“Modernizing school bus fleets across the country with retrofits, replacements, and idle reduction practices helps reduce children’s exposure to air toxics,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “With the amount of time kids spend on buses, we need to protect them from the harm older diesel engines can cause.”
EPA standards for new diesel engines make them more than 90 percent cleaner than older ones, but many older diesel engines still in operation predate these standards. Older diesel engines emit large quantities of pollutants such as particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, which have been linked to serious health problems such as aggravated asthma and lung damage.
EPA will accept applications from September 29 to November 1, 2016. This is the fourth rebate program to fund cleaner school buses offered under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) reauthorization. Nearly 25,000 buses across the country have already been made cleaner as a result of DERA funding.
General Dynamics NASSCO Delivers Fourth LNG-Capable ECO Class Carrier
September 27, 2016
General Dynamics NASSCO delivered the fourth vessel in a series of five ECO Class product tankers under contract with American Petroleum Tankers that are ready to be converted to operate on LNG. The Bay State was delivered during a special signing ceremony at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, California.
The Bay State is a 610-foot-long, 50,000 deadweight-ton tanker with a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity. The new ECO Class design symbolizes the emerging direction of the shipping industry in the U.S. toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes of transporting product. Representative Susan Davis (CA-53) pushed a button to signal construction for the ship in May 2015.
NASSCO is the only major shipyard on the west coast of the US conducting design, new construction and repair of commercial and U.S. Navy ships. In the past decade, NASSCO delivered 28 ocean-going ships to government and commercial customers—including the world’s first LNG-powered containerships.
Finland Adds the World´s First LNG-Powered Icebreaker to Fleet
September 28, 2016
Arctech Helsinki Shipyard delivered the world’s first LNG-powered icebreaker Polaris to the Finnish Icebreaker fleet. The prototype vessel built at Helsinki Shipyard is designed to serve for at least 50 years in icebreaking, oil recovery and sea rescue operations.
The innovative design is used for the vessel’s hull form and propulsion unit arrangement. The vessel is equipped with three Azipod propulsion units rotating 360° which enables excellent maneuvering capabilities. The vessel complies with the international IMO Tier III emission standards and special requirement for Sulphur emissions in the Baltic Sea.
“Icebreaker Polaris is extremely versatile vessel what concerns her technical properties. She can operate in all ice conditions in the Baltic Sea and use in all circumstances either gas or diesel oil as fuel,” said Esko Mustamäki, Managing Director of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. “We are proud we had this opportunity to build the vessel.”