Foothill Transit’s Executive Board authorized staff to execute an option that would allow the agency to purchase 30 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled, 42-foot vehicles for a total of $17,145,720.
The new vehicles will be outfitted with what is being called the “new standard” – high-backed, reclining seats, adjustable reading lights, ample overhead parcel racks, and of course, Foothill Transit’s new exterior livery.
Federal Transit Administration guidelines stipulate that buses purchased with federal funds must remain in service for 12 years or 500,000 miles, whichever comes first. Foothill Transit currently has 30 buses that will reach that threshold by the end of 2014. The 30 new buses, purchased from North American Bus Industries (NABI) in Anniston, Ala, will replace the aging coaches.
“These are more than buses,” said Doran Barnes, Foothill Transit's executive director. “These vehicles are part of our commitment to high quality service. We want our communities, our neighbors, to be proud of their public transit system and to always feel safe and comfortable on board.”
CNG-fueled buses emit fewer toxic and carcinogenic pollutants, and little to no particulate matter, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent and carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 90 percent. CNG's high safety rating, performance and wide availability make it the alternative fuel of choice for many transit agencies.
Foothill Transit began converting its 330-bus fleet to CNG-fueled buses in 2002. It retired its last diesel bus in December 2013.
The buses will carry 38 customers and will also have advanced vehicle location technology and exterior bicycle racks on board. Expected delivery is December 2014.