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CNG and Beyond in Los Angeles

March 19, 2012 in CNG, Fleet Order, NGVs by rich  |  No Comments

LA Metro Is Looking for More CNG Buses, Perhaps 900 of Them,
Also Wants Buses That Are Even Cleaner – as CNG Was to Diesel

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said goodbye to its last diesel bus last year. Now LA Metro is looking to buy as many as 900 new workhorse CNG vehicles.

LA Metro is looking to buy 550 new CNG buses for 2014 and 2015, and with options perhaps a total of 900.

LA Metro is looking to buy 550 new CNG buses for 2014 and 2015, and with options perhaps a total of 900.

At the same time, under a separate solicitation, LA Metro has budgeted $30 million for as many as 30 zero- and near-zero-emission buses, effectively setting the table for the next step change.

The new buses are to be cleaner than compressed natural gas in the way that CNG was cleaner than diesel, says John Drayton, the agency’s Advanced Transit Vehicle Consortium VP.

The zero-emission buses could be battery electric, or fuel cell electrics, he says –whatever it takes.

The near-zero buses are to be 75% cleaner than the current requirements of the California Air Resources Board, among the world’s strictest. Plug-in hybrids might qualify, or some new approach. “Metro is technologically agnostic,” Drayton says. But perhaps not economically agnostic, however, as the agency will be looking closely at life-cycle costs, including infrastructure and maintenance expenses.

550 Firm Plus 250 Plus 100 Could = 900

Bids for the super clean buses are due April 30 under solicitation OP33202790.

For the conventional CNG buy, LA Metro is figuring 275 buses for 2014 and again in 2015, with options for 250 in 2016 and 100 for contract operators, making a possible total of 900. They are to be standard 40-foot vehicles with the stipulation that engines be electrically cooled, with electric HVAC, and electric passenger doors. Electric power steering and compressors are optional.

Bids for the CNG buses are due May 4 under solicitation OP33202869.

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