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MTS Using CNG, RNG for San Diego Buses

October 14, 2016 in Biomethane, CNG, Companies, Infrastructure, NGVs, propane autogas, transit by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Maintenance Capability at Love’s-Trillium Station to Support 120 Buses,
Agency Is a Pioneering User of RNG and the New ISL G Near Zero Engine

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System has brought enhanced compressed natural gas bus capability to its East County area, opening a new bus operation and maintenance center at El Cajon, site of an existing Trillium CNG fueling station.

San Diego MTS can service CNG buses as well as fuel them at El Cajon.

San Diego MTS can service CNG buses as well as fuel them at El Cajon.



The El Cajon is to support 120 CNG buses, as a permanent Love’s-Trillium CNG station is to be installed in the next four to five months “as part of the next construction phase,” says a spokesman.

The agency operates 543 CNG-fueled vehicles out of a fixed-route total of 613 – The “MTS fixed-route total is 88.6% CNG,” the spokesman says.

Biomethane via BP

“We are the first transit agency in California to utilize biogas,” Mark Olson told F&F, acquiring the fuel from BP. MTS has repowered six Gillig buses with the new super low-NOx ISL G Near Zero engine from Cummins Westport, he adds.

Cutting the ribbon in El Cajon.

Cutting the ribbon in El Cajon.

“The engines have performed exceptionally well over the first 40,000 miles,” he says. “MTS plans to use the ISL G Near Zero as a solution to reach the 0.02 NOx level required for MTS to operate in California.”

“MTS is playing a leading role by investing in the fight to reduce emissions through clean and renewable energy and new engine technologies,” he says.

Looking for LEED

MTS has Trillium CNG stations for its Kearny Mesa and Imperial Avenue division facilities in San Diego too, and a fourth at its South Bay division facility in Chula Vista. All served by San Diego Gas & Electric and BP.

The 34,500-square-foot maintenance building and 10,275-square-foot administrative building opened yesterday. They occupy a 5.5-acre site in El Cajon.

Energy-efficient designs and equipment include on-site renewable energy, LED lighting, reflective windows, water use reduction techniques, drought-tolerant landscaping and temperature control technology. “All these features will help the facility secure LEED Silver status by the U.S. Green Building Council,” MTS says.

A Long Process

The construction contractor was Clark Construction.

Nearly 90% of the more than 600 buses operated by San Diego MTS are powered by CNG. Graphic does not reflect the agency's recent order for 77 propane autogas-fueled paratranait vehicles.

Nearly 90% of the more than 600 buses operated by San Diego MTS are powered by CNG. Graphic does not reflect the agency’s recent order for 77 propane autogas-fueled paratranait vehicles.

The $38 million facility will help MTS wean itself from diesel buses – a process started in 1993.

MTS operates both straight buses and 60-foot articulated vehicles fueled by CNG, built by New Flyer and Gillig (F&F, December 20, 2012 and January 16, 2013).

Propane Paratransit Vehicles Too

Just last month, MTS publicized an order for 77 paratransit vehicles fueled by propane autogas – the agency’s first (F&F, September 27).

The new El Cajon center employs 115 bus operators and 14 mechanics who together provide bus service for more than 4 million riders per year.

CNG on the job in San Diego

CNG on the job in San Diego


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Source: San Diego MTS with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

Posted in Biomethane, CNG, Companies, Infrastructure, NGVs, propane autogas, transit and tagged , , , , , .

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