The Mass Transportation Authority in Flint, Mich. is embracing alternative fuels, augmenting an existing compressed natural gas fueling unit at its Grand Blanc facility with a dozen more economical propane installations, and celebrating the arrival of a hydrogen fuel cell bus, on May 21.
MTA operates a Ford E-450 cutaway with a dedicated propane upfit by Roush CleanTech, expects a second in May, and two more in July, says general manager Ed Benning. His agency will go out to bid to deploy a total of 65 propane shuttle buses by year-end – making for opportunity for other upfitters as well. Also by the end of this year, MTA expects have propane fueling at all 12 of its Flint area locations.
Installing CNG at those facilities would have cost some $17 million, Benning says.
The hydrogen bus, sister to the 12 Van Hool vehicles operated by AC Transit in Oakland, Calif., will be leased from Connecticut’s UTC Power, which provides its 120-kilowatt PureMotion fuel cell, for one year.
And like AC’s new fueling installation in Emeryville, MTA’s Grand Blanc hydrogen fueling facility will have an electrolyzer unit from Proton Onsite.
Benning told F&F that the Federal Transit Administration will pay for $150,000 worth of electricity as part of a Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Funding grant.
If the one-year trial of the Van Hool-UTC bus is successful, MTA will seek to buy more hydrogen vehicles.
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