September 19, 2005
Vancouver Transit testing alternative buses
Vancouver, British Columbia – TransLink, the transit agency for the greater Vancouver, British Columbia area, is running a series of concurrent tests with hybrid, compressed natural gas (CNG) and biodiesel buses to determine the most cost-effective and suitable technology for the region.
TransLink and Coast Mountain Bus Co. will measure fuel consumption, service calls, emissions, acceleration, braking, hill climbing ability, and noise. Operating costs, capital costs, maintenance requirements, staff training, and life-cycle costs will also be calculated.
Ten buses will be included in the first test phase, beginning this month. They are two GM-Allison parallel diesel-hybrids; two CNG buses with Cummins C Gas Plus engines; two diesel buses burning a B20 biodiesel blend; two diesel buses burning ultra-low sulfur diesel and equipped with diesel particle filters; and two new conventional diesel buses, for comparison. All five types will be tested during regular service for up to 23 hours a day; customers will be able to give their opinions through on-board surveys. The project’s first phase will last until April 2006; TransLink expects to purchase over 1,000 buses over the next eight years.