The first of 106 new compressed natural gas buses (CNG) have arrived and will hit Surrey streets this week.
"Our customers and bus operators will enjoy a more comfortable ride with air-conditioned, quieter buses. And these new buses will also deliver substantial financial and environmental benefits with significantly reduced costs for fuel and reduced greenhouse gas emissions," says TransLink CEO Ken Desmond.
The new buses represent over half of Surrey's fleet of 209 buses, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13 to 21 per cent, use 60 per cent less fuel than diesel, add about 200,000 km to the engine life and have an operator barrier installed to improve safety.
The total cost of the CNG buses and upgrades to the Surrey Transit Centre, which includes a new fuelling facility for the buses, is about $86 million with 80 per cent of the funding coming from the federal gas tax and the rest paid by TransLink.
TransLink already has 146 CNG buses in its fleet operating out of the Port Coquitlam Transit Centre and the Hamilton Transit Centre in Richmond.
The CNG buses increases the transit operator's eligibility of claiming carbon credits from the provincial low carbon fuel standard program, according to a release. TransLink accumulated $1.5 million in credits in 2017 after three years of being involved in the program.
The cost of the new CNG buses was offset by funding from FortisBC through its Natural Gas for Transportation vehicle incentive program.
FortisBC president and CEO Roger Dall’Antonia says the announcement is “further evidence of the wide range of value natural gas can provide in working towards a low carbon future."
"Using compressed natural gas substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions and costs less than half of traditional diesel fuel, which is critical at times when gas prices are high,” says Dall’Antonia.