Greater Hartford Transit District announced the addition of four alternative fuel vehicles to its paratransit vehicle fleet as part of its ongoing commitment to lower emissions and use of efficient fuels. These vehicles will serve the elderly and disabled residents of the Greater Hartford region.
The District is currently preparing two new hybrid electric gas buses for service. The hybrid bus utilizes an add-on accessory called the VTM Hybrid Power System, manufactured by Cummins Crosspoint, rather than batteries. When the bus is in motion, it draws power and when the bus is coasting or breaking, power is being stored for future use. When the bus is accelerating, it first uses the stored power and then relies on the gas engine. This technology increases fuel efficiency by 25-40 percent and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 20-30 percent.
GHTD is soon scheduled to take delivery of two Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles, another alternative fuel type new to the fleet. Vehicles using CNG emit up to 20 percent less greenhouse gas than gasoline or diesel vehicles and CNG costs (on average) $1.50 less per gallon than diesel fuel. Ninety-eight percent of natural gas is produced in North America and according to a North American Natural Gas Supply assessment, there is presently a 120-year supply of natural gas.
"There are so many positive aspects to using alternative fuel vehicles," says GHTD's Executive Director, Vicki L. Shotland. "We're saving on operating costs, stabilizing our fuel source, and lessening our carbon emissions."
The addition of these vehicles reflects the District's commitment to cleaner greenhouse emissions and reducing its carbon footprint. Past projects include purchasing CTTRANSIT's first hydrogen fuel cell bus and utilization of hybrid electric supervisory vehicles. The District is also planning on replacing eight diesel buses with CNG-fueled buses by 2013 and pursuing every funding opportunity available to expand the number of alternative fuel vehicles in its fleet.
People can identify the hybrid buses by their unique wrapping and branding. These vehicles were funded by the Federal Transit Administration and the Connecticut Department of Transportation's Clean Fuel Program.
For more information on the Greater Hartford Transit District visit www.hartfordtransit.org