Support in the Industry
The conversion process is so much simpler today than when The T placed its first order for CNG buses, Ruddell explains.
“Twenty years ago The T partnered with manufacturers to develop specifications to build untried prototype CNG buses. We also had to work side-by-side with our suppliers’ mechanics to figure out how to maintain and troubleshoot the engines because there were no guide books or training programs. “
As a result, The T has gotten a lot of questions about the operations but didn’t always have the answers. This is what led to them forming a National Transit Natural Gas Coalition.
Currently with 165 members, the coalition’s purpose is to promote the use and best practices of natural gas bus fleets and to provide a network for the exchange of information and resources among transit agency natural gas users and non-users, manufacturers, suppliers, industry experts and publications.
It holds committee meetings at APTA annual meetings and bus conferences, distributes an e-newsletter, sends email updates, and will soon roll out a website.
With more members, the Coalition also could become a voice to lobby for or against legislation affecting the transit industry.
Membership in the Coalition is free. Those who wish to join, or want to learn more, are invited to attend the next committee’s meeting during the 2011 APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference in Memphis. To join now, send an email to Dick Ruddel at firstname.lastname@example.org.