Colorado’s Roaring Fork Transportation Authority has purchased 22 new buses from Gillig Corp, and if the RFTA board gives its approval in March, the agency will exercise an option for Gillig to deliver the first four vehicles with compressed natural gas fuel systems.
If all goes well with the first four, then 18 buses for RFTA’s expanded, VelociRFTA brand Bus Rapid Transit system will be CNG too, says maintenance manager Kenny Osier.
“If, if, if, if,” Osier says.
The big “if” is the responses RFTA gets to a new RFP about installing CNG fueling at its Glenwood Springs bus garage. If the price is right, and if all else works out, RFTA will have CNG fueling in place by September, well in time to support the first four buses, which are due for delivery approximately one year from now. The 18 BRT vehicles are expected in September 2013.
Altitude Has Been an Issue
RFTA serves its famous ski town headquarters of Aspen, as well as neighboring Buttermilk.
High altitude issues have prevented earlier deployment of CNG vehicles in the area, but the new generation of Cummins Westport ISL G engines are expected to pose no problem, Osier told F&F.
The proposed VelociRFTA BRT service will utilize the existing 40-mile Colorado State Highway 82 corridor between Glenwood Springs and Aspen. The VelociRFTA system will include nine stations, seven of which are located at existing RFTA local or express service stops. Construction bids are due January 24.
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