GoRaleigh First in Region to Roll Out Environmentally-Friendly CNG Buses
GoRaleigh Transit announces the arrival of new buses powered by compressed natural gas. Seventeen CNG buses will add to the fleet of approximately 100 diesel buses.
“We’re excited to have already received over a dozen of our CNG buses. We’re the first in the region to offer CNG as an alternative-fuel vehicle in public transportation,” says Marie Parker, general manager of GoRaleigh operations. “It benefits the citizens twofold, burning cleaner fuel which greatly reduces air pollution by lowering nitrogen oxide emissions, and it’s much quieter, reducing noise pollution.” GoRaleigh started ordering the 40-foot Gillig standard low floor CNG buses last October. Delivery of the buses began in August as did the work of inspecting and meeting other requirements. A significant share of the cost of the CNG buses is paid through the Wake Transit Plan*.
In 2017, the Raleigh Transit Authority voted to convert up to 75 percent of the fleet to CNG. The remaining 25 percent will remain diesel and may include other advanced technologies. “The RTA’s decision was based on the simple CNG engine design which does not require a particulate trap or other emissions reduction technologies,” says City of Raleigh Transit Administrator David Eatman. Support for the CNG buses is echoed by the Sustainability Manager Megan Anderson, “These buses help achieve objectives identified in Raleigh’s Climate Energy Action Plan. This is such an exciting move toward transforming our fleet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the community and to build a more sustainable future for all who live in Raleigh.”
Mrs. Parker says bus operators and mechanics are training to become familiar with the units. Following inspections and fuel source installation, she expects to have the buses in service for the public by the first week of September.
Compressed Natural Gas, or CNG, consists mostly of methane, and is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. CNG burns cleaner which greatly reduces air pollution by reducing greenhouse gases (GHG), and smog forming emissions, such as carbon dioxide, NOx (nitrogen oxides), and particulate emissions. CNG engines are much quieter than comparable diesel engines, reducing noise pollution.
*A one-half cent sales tax was approved in November 2016 by voters in Wake County as part of the Wake Transit Plan. Taxpayers started paying the half-cent sales tax increase in April 2017. To learn more about the Wake Transit Plan, visit goforwardnc.org/wake.
GoRaleigh provides bus service throughout the City of Raleigh and other key destinations. For routes, schedules, and trip planning visit goraleigh.org. Social media - Twitter, Instagram & Facebook - @GoRaleighNC.