DTC's New Propane Fuel Station Unveiled, Propane Autogas-Powered Fleet Increases
Transit agency invests in affordable, onsite fueling infrastructure and 130 alt fuel vehicles
New Castle --
Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Secretary Jennifer Cohan, along with other officials, cut the ribbon today to celebrate the Delaware Transit Corporation's (DTC) new propane fuel station in New Castle along with the agency's plans to increase its fleet of propane-powered paratransit buses. DTC will operate 130 of these alternative-fuel vehicles for its DART paratransit service by FY18.
"I'm pleased that DART is scaling up its use of low emissions technologies to power its bus fleet," said Governor Jack Markell. "The use of cleaner-burning fuels is a sound investment that saves energy costs, reduces harmful emissions, and improves public health and our environment."
After a two-year pilot program testing five propane autogas paratransit buses, the transit agency purchased 50 more this year, and will purchase an additional 75 by 2018. That will bring the total number of propane autogas-fueled vehicles in DART's paratransit fleet to 130 - almost half the fleet. Each of these vehicles is built on the Ford E-450 chassis with 6.8L V10 engine, and equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system.
"Our first five propane-fueled buses collectively traveled 450,000 miles with no fuel system-related failures, and saved $15,000 in fuel costs alone," said John T. Sisson, chief executive officer of Delaware Transit Corporation. "That, combined with the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, made it an easy decision to expand the propane program with our new private fuel stations and 130 buses by 2018."
Currently, DTC pays $.78 per gallon for propane autogas compared with $1.75 per gallon for gasoline.
"By 2018, paratransit buses, and this propane-fueling station, and one in Georgetown, will be essential to daily operations," said Cohan. "I am pleased to be here today as we take another step toward reducing the greenhouses gases that poison our atmosphere and contribute to global warming. In this area, DelDOT expects to be a leader, embracing innovations that improve health and safety for all Delawareans."
Each of the propane autogas paratransit buses will reduce more than 91,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over its lifetime compared to gasoline models. Propane autogas is a low carbon alternative fuel that reduces greenhouse gases by up to 25 percent, 60 percent less carbon monoxide and fewer particulate emissions versus gasoline.
"This event celebrates the private / public partnership between Delaware Transit Corporation and ROUSH CleanTech," said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing at ROUSH CleanTech. "The agency has chosen a clean-burning, American-made and abundant fuel to power its paratransit buses."
ROUSH CleanTech has deployed almost 11,000 propane autogas vehicles to fleets across America. Of those, about 800 operate in the transit industry.
The ROUSH CleanTech Ford E-450 bus has completed Federal Transit Administration's New Model Bus Testing Program ("Altoona Testing") and is certified for sale in all 50 states by the California Air Resources Board and Environmental Protection Agency. Altoona-tested vehicles can be purchased using a transit agency's FTA funds.
Sharp Energy, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, will provide the fuel supply for the DART paratransit buses along with providing technical and maintenance support for DART's vehicles and fueling stations.
"Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is committed to investing in sustainable clean energy and improving our overall air quality. Cleaner alternative fuels like Sharp Energy's propane autogas help reduce emissions," said Bob Zola, president of Sharp Energy. "As we expand our autogas fueling station infrastructure, we can provide greater access to this low-cost, domestically produced fuel."
DTC provides just over 10.6 million rides per year, including about 1 million passenger trips through its DART paratransit service. These buses will be used for shared ride, advanced reservation trips for person with disabilities who are unable to use regular fixed route public transportation.
About The Delaware Transit Corporation: As a subsidiary of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), DTC operates DART First State. For information on bus services statewide, please visit DartFirstState.com or call 800-652-DART.
About ROUSH CleanTech: ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology, is a division of ROUSH Enterprises based in Livonia, Michigan. ROUSH CleanTech designs, engineers, manufactures and installs propane autogas fuel system technology for light- and medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles, and Type A and Type C Blue Bird school buses, and compressed natural gas fuel systems for Type C Blue Bird school buses. As a Ford QVM-certified alternative fuel vehicle manufacturer, ROUSH CleanTech delivers economical, clean and domestically produced fueling options for fleets across North America. Learn more at ROUSHcleantech.com or by calling 800.59.ROUSH.
About Sharp Energy: Based in Georgetown, Delaware, Sharp Energy distributes propane to approximately 37,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Pennsylvania. With four rail facilities and over 2,000,000 gallons of propane storage, Sharp Energy has established a solid supply portfolio. Sharp AutoGas delivers a comprehensive alternative fueling solution including EPA-certified propane autogas vehicle conversions, on-site fueling infrastructure, fuel supply, safety and operational training, and ongoing technical support. SharpCGS specializes in the design and operation of innovative propane distribution systems for the home and for communities. Sharp has been providing reliable, dependable gas service on the Delmarva Peninsula and beyond for more than 25 years and has built regulated gas distribution systems for more than 20 years. To learn more about Sharp Energy and the Sharp family of businesses, visit www.sharpenergy.com.