British Columbia Transit Fleet Completes Transition to Natural Gas
The delivery of 19 XN40 Xcelsior New Flyer buses this winter means that the City of Kamloops now operates a fleet powered completely by compressed natural gas. The new buses are part of the almost $160 million in federal and provincial funding for BC Transit projects that was first announced in June 2016, together with Premier Christy Clark and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Through developing greener operations with the adoption of best in class technology, BC Transit is demonstrating a commitment not only to environmental stewardship, but also to supporting meaningful, family-supporting jobs for British Columbians in the renewable energy sector,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “I am immensely proud of the benefits this brings for all British Columbians, including right here in Kamloops.”
According to FortisBC, using CNG reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 15 to 25 percent, and it also costs 25 to 50 percent less than traditional diesel fuel. Production of clean burning CNG also supports British Columbians across the province, providing employment in both rural and urban communities. The buses are fueled at a station built and maintained by Clean Energy Fuels.
The first 25 CNG buses arrived in Kamloops in 2014-2015, and in that time have resulted in a six percent decrease in operating costs per trip and an eight percent operating cost recovery increase in 2015-2016.
The purchase of the 19 new vehicles represents an investment of $12 million in the Kamloops Transit System. To help offset the initial costs associated with the purchase of the new CNG buses, FortisBC will provide funding of up to $378,000. This funding represents 40 percent of the cost differential of the CNG buses over their diesel counterparts. The 19 new CNG-powered buses are being delivered to Kamloops throughout the spring of 2017.