Chicago Paratransit ‘On the Cusp’ of Ordering Hundreds
Chicago’s SCR Medical Transportation has ordered 11 Chrysler Dodge Grand Caravans from World CNG, and according to SCR general manager Dave Daley is “on the cusp” of ordering as many as 240 more.
There’ll be business too in converting dozens of Ford E-350 vans to CNG for the 300-unit SCR fleet, Daley told F&F.
SCR provides paratransit services in a six-county area of northeastern Illinois.
The Chrysler Dodge vehicles have fuel systems from Cleveland-based NatGasCar and compressed natural gas fuel cylinders from Lincoln Composites. The NatGasCar kits for the 3.6-liter Chrysler Pentastar-engine Dodge vans include Bosch CNG injectors, ITT regulators, and OMB Lyra valves.
Each of the Grand Caravans is outfitted with an ElDorado National side-loading wheelchair ramp and a single Type IV Lincoln cylinder affording 11.2 GGE-gasoline gallon equivalents of fuel, providing range of up to 200 miles, World CNG says.
“Through a partnership with NatGasCar, we have been able to develop an EPA-certified CNG minivan that is a safe and affordable solution for paratransit operators,” World CNG president Garret Alpers said in a release publicizing the initial 11-van project. “The innovative trunk-mounted CNG tank design allows for the straightforward addition of the side-load wheelchair ramp that many ADA service providers require.”
“SCR continually strives to provide transportation services that not only preserve but can also improve upon the health and safety of our customers,” SCR Medical Transportation VP and COO Stan Rakestraw says in the World CNG release. “Adopting new vehicle technologies and cleaner fuels like CNG allow us to better serve our community.”
Federal grant funding administered by the City of Chicago’s Departments of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Green Taxi Program covered the incremental cost of the CNG conversion, World CNG says.
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