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PERC ENERGY FOR EVERYONE HERO AWARD GOES TO BROWARD COUNTY TRANSIT IN FLORIDA

Written on: June 10, 2024

WASHINGTON (May, 2024) – Broward County Transit’s (BCT) dedication to its residents was recognized this week after receiving the Energy for Everyone Hero award from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). The national non-profit organization, which promotes clean energy initiatives, honored BCT with the award for operating an affordable and near-zero emissions propane autogas paratransit fleet. Coree Cuff Lonergan, the general manager and director of transportation for BCT, accepted the award during a celebration event for the transit agency.

“Broward County is a leader in sustainable transportation,” said Coree Cuff Lonergan, CEO/general manager at Broward County Transit. “Our commitment to zero emissions is driving innovation, and our propane paratransit fleet is a prime example. By transitioning to propane over nine years ago, we’ve reduced harmful carbon emissions and saved Broward County taxpayers millions of dollars. This is a win for our environment, our economy, and our residents.”

Since 2015, BCT has invested in 297 propane autogas paratransit shuttles that have provided significant benefits to the community. Not only have the shuttles reliably provided an average of 770,000 trips each year across the 471-square-mile county, but the vehicles have reduced emissions and operating costs along the way.

According to BCT, in nine years, the propane autogas fleet has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 14,000 metric tons — the equivalent of more than 35 million miles driven in one gasoline-powered passenger vehicle. The shuttles are also proven to reduce harmful pollutants that can cause respiratory issues by more than 96% compared to diesel, significantly improving air quality for residents.

“Paratransit services are essential for ensuring everyone has access to public transportation, but they can also be the most expensive per-rider option,” said Paul Strobis, director of paratransit for BCT. “That’s why we’re constantly exploring innovative solutions to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Converting our fleet to propane autogas allows us to achieve both of these goals, while also minimizing our environmental impact.”

Equally impressive, the transit agency has saved taxpayers nearly $14 million. Propane autogas provides fleets like BCT with the lowest total cost-of-ownership. BCT estimates cost savings of about $.20 per mile compared to gasoline.

“Broward County Transit is setting the bar for other paratransit agencies,” said David Walters, director of autogas business development for PERC. “They’re providing benefits to the health of the community, the environment, and the taxpayers – it’s a win-win-win. Not to mention, the propane vehicles have unmatched reliability, and have played an instrumental role in Broward’s evacuation plans during severe weather. This fleet, and those who operate it, have gone above and beyond to be true heroes for their county.”

In addition to the award, BCT and PERC celebrated the opening of a new propane autogas refueling station with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The station will be the fifth in the county allowing the transit agency to reliably service all residents.

For more information on Broward County’s innovative sustainability solutions, visit broward.org/BCT/pages/paratransit.aspx.

For more information on propane autogas for paratransit fleets, visit Propane.com/paratransit.

About PERC: The Propane Education & Research Council is a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs and invests in research and development of new propane-powered technologies. PERC is operated and funded by the propane industry. For more information, visit Propane.com.

About Broward County Transit:

Broward County Transit (BCT) provides safe, reliable, and economical bus transportation services through fixed routes, express lines, community shuttles, and paratransit options. BCT operates across a 410 square mile area, connecting Broward, Miami, and Palm Beach counties every day of the week, including holidays. For more information about BCT, trip planning assistance, and schedules, visit the BCT website or Facebook page. Customer service is available seven days a week at 954-357-8400 or TTY 954-357-8302. From Sawgrass to Seagrass, BCT connects you to life!

BELOW ARE DETAILS FROM THE AWARD RECOMMENDATION

Agency: Broward County Transit, Florida’s second-largest transit system, was recipient of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) 2024 Energy for Everyone Hero award, awarded May 29, 2024.

Number of Propane Vehicles: 297 in paratransit fleet, nearly 90% of entire fleet. An additional 44 are in its community shuttle bus fleet, with the remainder to be converted by June 2024.

Fuel Cost Savings: Nearly $14 million since 2015.

Emissions Reduction: More than 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide since 2015.

Fueling Sites: Three countywide, each servicing about 75 vehicles.

● Fort Lauderdale.

● Pompano Beach.

● Lauderdale Lakes.

Fueling Solution: One Superior Energy Systems portable fueling skid at the Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach sites. The newest and largest site in Lauderdale Lakes consists of four refueling skids. Each skid features a 1,990-gallon tank and PRO-Vend 2000 dispenser and measures 26 feet long by 4 feet wide, roughly the size of a parking space.

Fuel Management: Dispensers are tied into Superior Energy Systems’ proprietary web-based fuel management system, requiring no third-party software installation. System tracks hundreds of data points, including: vehicle ID, the driver that fueled the vehicle, how many miles it was driven, when it was fueled and how many gallons were fueled.

Drivers can refuel at any of the three Broward County locations as well as at various AmeriGas refueling locations across the area.

Propane Supplier: AmeriGas, which owns and maintains the fueling infrastructure.

● The cost to install the fueling infrastructure was built into the county’s five-year fuel contract.

● Ample propane supply through AmeriGas gives Broward County Transit the ability to operate continuously during natural disasters like hurricanes, which cause gasoline shortages.

● Many customers rely solely on Broward County Transit for transportation and evacuation needs and propane allows for uninterrupted service.

Quote: “Portability and accessibility are keys for our autogas program. The Superior Energy Systems refueling infrastructure that includes fuel management software is huge for us. Having the ability to monitor all vehicles and drivers, in real time, without having to tie into or pay for a third-party management system has been instrumental in our success and fuel savings,” said Paul Strobis, Director of Paratransit, Broward County Transit.