BC Transit to put first 25 medium-duty CNG buses into service in Victoria

July 27, 2020
The 30-foot buses are part of 99 new CNG vehicles BC Transit expects to enter service during 2020.

BC Transit will place 25 new medium-duty compressed natural gas (CNG) buses into service on the Victoria Regional Transit System in the coming weeks. The new CNG buses are part of a larger 99 CNG bus rollout BC Transit is planning throughout 2020 and include heavy-duty buses that were first activated in Victoria in late February. 

The new 30-foot, medium-duty Grande West Vicinity bus can carry up to 24 seated passengers and 20 standing passengers. Each new bus is equipped with a bike rack which accommodates three-inch tires, white LED destination sign and full driver door designed to protect the health and safety of drivers and passengers.

“I am proud to welcome the first of our CNG medium-duty buses — a key step in our low carbon fleet program. As we transition to a zero-emission fleet by 2040, these buses are greener and will reduce the overall environmental impact, while ensuring we have the right size fleet in each community to match capacity to demand,” said BC Transit President and CEO Erinn Pinkerton.

Both the heavy-duty and medium-duty CNG buses are part of BC Transit’s Low Carbon Fleet Program to support provincial targets for greenhouse gas emissions and align with the provincial CleanBC plan.

“Encouraging people to leave their cars at home and get on the bus will help us all lower our carbon footprint and achieve our CleanBC goals. And BC Transit adding CNG buses to its fleet will further help us reach a green and low carbon future”, said British Columbia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena.

The benefits of CNG technology are both environmental and economic, with reductions in tailpipe emissions and operational costs. FortisBC supplies natural gas for BC Transit’s CNG fleets, while the CNG fueling station, located at the Langford operations and maintenance facility, is maintained by Clean Energy.

“Public transit is already the greener choice for people moving throughout Victoria. Replacing buses in the fleet that are older and less efficient with CNG buses can only encourage more people to do their part for the environment by getting on board,” said Chair of the Victoria Regional Transit Commission Susan Brice.

Each medium-duty CNG bus is approximately C$455,000 (US$339,634), which is being funded through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), with the government of Canada and the province of British Columbia each contributing 40 percent of the cost. The Victoria Regional Transit Commission is funding the remaining 20 percent for these medium-duty CNG buses.

“Investing in modern and accessible public transportation systems is essential to building inclusive and resilient communities. These new, fuel-efficient CNG buses for the Greater Victoria area will reduce harmful emissions and bus operating costs, support Canadian jobs and help us move forward on fighting climate change and creating well-connected sustainable communities across the country,” said Canadian Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.

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July 17, 2014