VIA Fleet Transformation on Route to a Clearer Future

SAN ANTONIO — A new era in public transportation for San Antonio and Bexar County is beginning with the arrival of alternative-fuel buses that will significantly reduce vehicle emissions and power VIA Metropolitan Transit beyond the diesel age.

The new buses, which run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and are manufactured by Nova Bus, began arriving at VIA in February 2017. A total of 135 buses will be delivered in the first shipment, which should be completed by May 2017. A second shipment of 135 buses is scheduled to begin arriving later in the year. In all, the contract with Nova Bus calls for the delivery of 425 vehicles over a five-year period.

VIA’s multi-year plan to purchase these clean-energy vehicles is designed to replace aging buses in its current fleet. The vehicles scheduled for replacement are at least 15 years old. The agency’s fleet expansion will reduce operating costs and allow the agency to carry out planned service enhancements.

“Replacing the oldest vehicles in our fleet with CNG buses will result in a significant emissions reduction for the region and furthers VIA’s commitment to environmental sustainability,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “The use of CNG fuel will decrease fuel costs while contributing to a more sustainable community for future generations.”

A new CNG fueling station is currently under construction on VIA’s main property to accommodate the expansion of the fleet. The station, scheduled for completion by late spring 2017, will include the addition of 10 CNG dispensers operated by seven 700-horsepower compressors, with a total flow rate of more than 85 gallons per minute. The existing dispensers – 10 diesel fuel and 6 propane – will be phased out once the conversion to CNG is complete.

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