Across the nation, a set of trends is converging that has left many metropolitan transit authorities facing bigger challenges than ever before. One of these is the fact that in many cities public transit ridership have risen to an all-time high at the very time that fuel costs have stretched budgets to the breaking point.
Dallas is one of the largest cities in Texas, boasting a population of 1.2 million. And many of the city’s residents rely on public transportation. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) was seeking ways to serve their ridership as economically as possible while managing their environmental footprint.
This decision was made after careful analysis which included comparing and contrasting numerous alternative fuel options including “clean diesel” which didn’t offer significant greenhouse gas or fuel-cost reduction, and diesel/electric hybrid buses which were cost-prohibitive. CNG offered both a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fuel cost savings.
Clean Energy designed and built four CNG fueling stations and performed the necessary facility modifications in 2012 for the entire transit and paratransit fleet. When this transition is completed at the end of 2015, DART will be running 425 CNG buses and 200 paratransit vehicles.