Few things compare to the look, feel and—yes, we’re going to say it—the smell of a new bus. Fortunately fellow bus admirers and us, we have 20 brand-new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses arriving by the end of 2019. In fact, our first new addition arrived this month.
Here at The Rapid, we’ve been working on transitioning our fleet to CNG vehicles. In 2017, we kicked off the transition with an addition of 33 alternative fuel vehicles, including 28 on The Rapid’s regular fixed routes and five for the City of Grand Rapids’ DASH shuttle service operating in Downtown Grand Rapids by The Rapid. The Rapid’s 150-vehicle fleet to include 92 CNG buses by 2021, with plans for full fleet transition in 2028. This will make The Rapid the owner of Michigan’s largest system of natural gas-powered buses!
Our CNG buses are GILLIG low-floor models. They are made at the GILLIG factory in Livermore, CA and make the cross-country journey to Rapid Operations Center to join our fleet. Our first bus of Fiscal Year 2019 arrived on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. This is vehicle #1129.
Here’s what we love about this alternative fuel:
- — It reduces The Rapid’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1 million metric tons over the use of diesel. CNG buses produce up to 20-30 percent fewer emissions than diesel-powered buses.
- — Poses no threat to land or water if a spill occurs as CNG is nontoxic.
- — Generates a combined total savings of $4.5 million because the cost of CNG is projected to remain about 60 percent less than diesel.
- — Ensures access to an American-made fuel source with an abundant 100-year supply, diminishing Greater Grand Rapids’ reliance on foreign oil.
Bus 1129 will be hitting the road to pick you up in the near future! Check out our video to learn more about our transition to CNG buses and meet our newest bus.