They’re here! The Kamloops Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuelled transit fleet has arrived. A total of 25 CNG buses will be introduced into service by the end of May as they clear inspection and are prepared for service.
Compared to diesel, the primary benefit of CNG buses are significantly quieter engines and simplified emission systems.
“It’s exciting to see Kamloops take advantage of B.C.’s abundant natural gas resources to use this available, affordable fuel in its fleet,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and Kamloops South Thompson MLA. “By increasing the use of natural gas fleets around the province, we are making a transportation choice that will benefit us all for years to come.”
“The City’s strategy is to encourage alternative, sustainable methods of transportation and supportive infrastructure. These new buses will support this strategy by reducing the emission of harmful pollutants into our air shed,” commented Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar.
“Cleaner burning fuel in our transit fleet means cleaner air for Kamloops’ residents,” said MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson Terry Lake. “I’m proud to say that Kamloops is the second region in the BC Transit network to adopt this technology and I’m confident other communities will follow.”
A CNG fuelling station is near completion at the Kamloops Transit Centre. The cost of the fuelling station is estimated at $2.5 million.
The 25 CNG buses were purchased through New Flyer Industries in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The total cost of the buses is roughly $14.8 million. To help offset the initial costs associated with the purchase of the new CNG buses, FortisBC will provide funding of up to $577,500. This funding represents 70% of the cost differential of CNG buses over diesel counterparts.
“Natural gas is a cleaner-burning, lower-priced fuel that is abundant in B.C., and we are dedicated to working with municipalities and organizations like BC Transit to take advantage of new opportunities for this fuel source,” said Dave Bennett, Director, External Relations at FortisBC. “With these compressed natural gas buses on the road, BC Transit is putting ideas into action, bringing benefits to the environment and our gas customers.”
Kamloops is the second BC Transit community to adopt CNG technology; the Regional District of Nanaimo introduced its CNG fleet in 2014. The CNG buses in Nanaimo have proved very reliable, clocking an average of 53,000 kilometres each in their first year of service.
“We are pleased to partner with the City of Kamloops and FortisBC as BC Transit doubles the size of its CNG fleet,” said BC Transit President and CEO Manuel Achadinha. “This investment in new technology reinforces BC Transit’s strong commitment to sustainable transportation.”