‘Breakthrough for CNG Use in Canada’s Transit Industry,’ Says CNGVC,
Citing Expected Calgary Fuel Cost Savings of $11,000 Per Year Per Bus
The award of $48.4 million in P3 money from the Canadian federal government to Calgary Transit for a new transit bus garage “represents a major breakthrough for CNG use in Canada’s transit industry,” says the Ottawa-based Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance.
“After a successful year-long trial operating CNG transit buses, Calgary Transit had identified the potential to save $11,000 in fuel and operating costs per bus per year and cited a 10% capital premium for the new CNG buses,” the associations reports.
Plans are being laid for a $240 million, 400-bus facility for completion in late 2018. According to Department of Finance Canada, the new facility will provide storage and maintenance space for Calgary’s new fleet of compressed natural gas buses (and for diesel buses currently stored outside of the city’s other bus garages).
Competitive Solicitation Is Planned
The new garage in the Stoney industrial area in north central Calgary will be able to handle as many as 400 CNG buses, with indoor vehicle storage, 40 maintenance bays, two steam bays, on-site natural gas compression, and CNG storage distribution infrastructure.
“A private sector partner will be competitively selected to design, build, finance and maintain the facility,” the federal announcement states. A Request for Qualifications is slated for December 2014. A 30-month construction period is expected to begin in June 2016, and the facility opening is expected in November 2018.
Calgary Transit is working with the multinational IBI Group to develop specifications for the project, says fleet manager Russell Davies. The agency expects to float a solicitation for CNG buses sometime in 2017, he told F&F.
“Following several new CNG transit project announcements in British Columbia and the May 2014 decision by Hamilton Street Railway to transition back to CNG, the Calgary news points to strong forward momentum for natural gas in the transit industry,” CNGVC said.
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Source: Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance with Fleets & Fuels follow-up