Miamidade Looks To Cng Bus Fleet
By Meisha Perrin
Compressed natural gas might help motorists and government alike save significantly on transit expenses — and perhaps even significantly reduce harmful emissions.
Hence, for Miami-Dade Transit, Mayor Carlos Gimenez told a transportation summit last week, a fleet of natural gas buses is in the works.
The county has drafted a proposal seeking a compressed natural gas program for its heavy diesel fleet, starting with its fleets for the public works and waste management, transit bus, and water and sewer departments.
Ideally, draft legislation says, the county wants a cost-effective way to convert to natural gas, which Mayor Gimenez told summit attendees is cleaner, cheaper and made right in the US.
Conversion of facilities to serve natural gas buses would begin at Central O&I facility at 3431 NW 31st St., followed by Coral Way at 2775 SW 74th Ave. and Northeast at 360 NE 185th St., the draft says. Work includes designing, building, operating and maintaining fuel infrastructure, including natural gas fueling stations operating around the clock.
One company, Florida-based Nopetro, has already expressed interest.
The company has developed compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas fueling stations throughout the Southeast, including one that fuels about 80 vehicles in Leon County, and plans to open 15 more fueling stations across the state within a few years.
Leon County, company CEO Jorge Herrera said, has made the most aggressive transition in Florida, and Miami-Dade should be next.
A transit bus uses almost 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel yearly, Mr. Herrera said. But with natural gas 50% cheaper than diesel, he said, the switch could save the county, which runs about 800 buses, about $25,000 per bus a year — $20 million total.To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.