Agency Details Fleet Vehicles and Plans, Fuel Suppliers and Plans,
Helps with Cleanewr Air and Saves Significant Money with Alt Fuels
The Mass Transportation Authority in Flint, Mich. makes its own hydrogen for two zero-emission fuel cell buses, is expanding its capabilities in compressed natural gas with a view to providing pubic access fueling, and powers its fleet of more than 120 propane autogas vehicles at six different locations.
Earlier this month the agency said that its “environmentally responsible alternative fuel vehicles will allow the organization to move closer to a 100% alternative fuel platform” (F&F, August 10).
In addition to CNG, hydrogen and propane autogas vehicles, Flint MTA has 16 diesel electric New Flyer hybrid buses and 13 Ford C-Max hybrid support vehicles.
‘A Diverse Fleet,’ By Design
“We have a diverse fleet and that’s the way we want to do it,” says general manager and CEO Ed Benning.
Flint MTA has a Proton Onsite electrolysis unit at its facility in Grand Blanc, Mich. able to provide about 72 kilograms per day of fuel for a Van Hool bus with UTC Power fuel cell stack and a new ElDorado bus, likewise 40-foot, with a Ballard fuel cell stack. There is an Air Products hydrogen dispenser.
Public Access CNG in Early Planning Stage
To support its service to six Michigan counties, the agency has a fleet of eight CNG-fueled, 45-foot, 55-passenger MCI commuter coaches. It has just ordered three CNG-fueled 40-foot Gillig transit buses. A new CNG fueling outlet has just been commissioned, also at Grand Blanc.
When funding is arranged, the agency would like to buy 12 more commuter coaches and 50 transit buses, and if all goes well will offer public-access CNG fueling, Benning told F&F.
Propane Autogas for 24¢
Flint MTA operates no fewer than 121 propane autogas-fueled vehicles, all with dedicated-propane fuel systems by Roush CleanTech. The passenger fleet is made up of 103 paratransit cutaways with E-450 chassis and 16 midsize (35-foot) Blue Bird buses for peak periods. The agency has two propane autogas service vehicles.
Propane autogas fueling takes place at Grand Blanc and at five other locations. There is combined storage capacity of 15,000 to 16,000 gallons.
Flint MTA has a new one-year contract with Webster & Garner for propane at 74¢ per gallon, Benning says, noting that the agency also takes advantage of a 50¢-per-gallon federal tax credit. The incentives thus allow propane vehicles to operate for about 4¢ per mile, he says, whereas diesel (at its peak) cost the agency about 43¢ per mile.
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Source: Flint MTA with Fleets & Fuels follow-up