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LOW EMISSIONS AND LOW COSTS MAKE PROPANE ATTRACTIVE TO TRANSIT VEHICLE FLEET MANAGERS

Written on: May 18, 2022

Recently ROUSH CleanTech hosted an event for 31 transit agencies from across North Carolina at Roush Fenway Keselowski headquarters in Concord, NC to discuss the benefits propane offers for transit fleets. The event was held as gas and diesel prices continue to skyrocket due to many issues, including geopolitical. In a Q & A, Randy Cantor, transportation and fleet services director at Carteret County Area Transportation System discusses the benefits of propane for his operation. Tom Hopkins, business development manager, ROUSH CleanTech later shared the kinds of questions asked by representatives from the 31 transit agencies. Attendees were also treated to a behind-the-scenes walkthrough of the Keselowski racing shop.

Randy Cantor, transportation and fleet services director, Carteret County Area Transportation System on why propane transit vehicles makes sense for Carteret County Area Public Transportation:

Why do propane transit vehicles make sense for Carteret County Area Public Transportation?
Carteret County is 100 miles long and encompasses over 506 square land miles. On average a CCATS bus will travel between 250 – 300 miles daily using 35 – 40 gallons of fuel per day. Our average cost for propane is half of gasoline. This savings has given us the ability to offer more services to more individuals.

How many total vehicles is Carteret County using in its operations, and how many of them are vehicles with ROUSH CleanTech propane fuel systems?
Our fleet consist of 18 vehicles 16 of which are modified for propane. Currently we have five Roush vehicles with the intent to purchase two more this next year. It is my goal to continue to purchase these vehicles as we have had no issues and we continue to see improvements with efficiencies with usage.

How are these vehicles used, in general?
We are a curb-to-curb rural transit system transporting citizens to varying locations. The majority of our trips consist of inner-city driving cycles though we do offer out of county travel that consist mostly of highway drive cycles.

How have recent skyrocketing gasoline prices played into Carteret County’s use of propane transit vehicles?
Understanding the transit systems success with propane, county management is in the process of considering retrofitting other county fleet vehicles to utilize propane.

Do you have any mileage statistics on the propane vehicles?
On average our vehicles maintain an approximate 10 mpg fuel usage rate.

How is fueling handled?
We own our propane refueling station at our General Services Facility. Our operators are trained on how to fuel and keep records of their fuel usage. Also, this facility has a generator that allows us to continue to fuel our vehicles should there be an interruption in electrical service.

How was the tour of the Roush Fenway Keselowski headquarters?
Being a racing enthusiast, I found it to be interesting and exciting. I look forward to possibly visiting again and hopefully with more time.

Tom Hopkins, business development manager, ROUSH CleanTech on questions from the 31 transit agencies:

What kinds of questions did the personnel from the 31 transit agencies that attended ask?

It was great to have the group of transit agencies engaged and asking questions. Some of their questions were:
• How difficult is it to find refueling for propane?
• Are propane fuel systems approved by FTA?
• Is it on or available through the NC state contract?
• What kind of range or fuel economy can I expect?
• If propane buses get less fuel economy, where do the savings come from?
• How does running a para transit bus on propane differ from traditional gas or diesel?
• How does the fuel system get installed?
• Is it direct from the factory?
• How does the Roush system differ from other bi-fuel systems?
• Who services propane buses?

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