Trever Sparrow, a transit superintendent for the City of Red Deer, shows off one of 17 new compressed natural gas buses. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Red Deer Transit rolls out 17 new natural gas-fuelled buses

The CNG buses are cleaner burning, quieter and cheaper to run

The future of Red Deer transit was rolled out on Tuesday with new buses that are more environmentally friendly and cost efficient.

The 17 new public transit buses that run on compressed natural gas instead of diesel are being phased in on various city routes over the next few weeks.

Purchased through the Quebec-based Nova Bus (affiliated with Volvo) each bus costs just over $500,000 — which is a little more than a conventional diesel-fuelled bus, said Trever Sparrow, superintendent of conventional services for the City’s transit department.

But he believes it’s well worth it, since the new CNG buses use 30 per cent less fuel per kilometre, and their fuel costs are 40 per cent lower than diesel — resulting in less green house gas emissions and more taxpayer savings.

The goal is to gradually replace the rest of the city transit fleet (consisting of a total of 63 conventional buses and 24 Action Buses for people with disabilities) with more vehicles that run on compressed natural gas.

So far, the city has used $5-million of its federal gas tax Fund allocation and $10.1 million in provincial GreentTRIP funding for the new CNG bus purchases. The City of Red Deer also funded about $600,000 from fuel and capital reserves to cover the remaining cost.

The $15.7 million project also includes the installation of a CNG fuelling station in the city’s civic yards and some upgrades to the bus storage facility and maintenance garage. (Gas detection monitors were upgraded as were electrical, heating and air handling systems to ensure the new buses could be safely maintained indoors).

Outwardly, the new made-in-New-York buses look the same as diesel-fuelled ones. But a test ride on one of the CNG vehicles on Tuesday demonstrated that they run quieter and smoother, as well as producing less harmful exhaust emissions.

Mayor Tara Veer said the city has taken a significant step forward in reducing its carbon footprint, while continuing to provide the community with affordable transit service that’s easier on the environment and the city’s operating budget.

Red Deer North MLA Kim Schreiner added that it makes sense to invest in cleaner burning, quieter vehicles that will make it more attractive for more commuters to use public transit.

While the federal Minister of Infrastructure, Amarjeet Sohi, did not attend the bus launch, he sent a message about the importance of ensuring Canadians have access to modern, clean and reliable transit services.

Red Deer is following Medicine Hat in introducing CNG buses. Calgary is still in the planning stage, and Edmonton is going on a different route, with some electric battery-fuelled buses.

Just Posted

Red Deer College waiting for feds to finalize marijuana legalization

Like businesses, Alberta and municipal governments, Red Deer College is waiting for… Continue reading

Class size only part of the problem say Central Alberta teachers

Though the Alberta auditor general’s report points out that classroom sizes continue… Continue reading

Lacombe County promoting crime prevention measures

County pushing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles

Red Deer doctor concerned about patient transfers to rural hospitals

Family physician says the move creates less incentive for expansion at Red Deer hospital

Fire permit season begins in March

Earlier springs in last few years prompted Alberta government to move up fire permit season

WATCH: Red Deer’s River Bend upgrades officially open

River Bend Golf and Recreation Area is the latest venue to be… Continue reading

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

In Pyeongchang, maintaining Olympic venues relies on a poor, aging workforce

GANGNEUNG, South Korea - Hockey players from Finland were circling with the… Continue reading

Trudeau’s fashion missteps highlight what not to wear on vacation

TORONTO — The traditional garb that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his… Continue reading

Stores make push in scan and go tech, hope shoppers adopt it

NEW YORK — Shoppers at self-checkout lanes scanning all their groceries after… Continue reading

‘Stars seemed to have aligned’ for new Halifax CFL bid, commissioner says

HALIFAX — CFL fans in Halifax have been told the league is… Continue reading

The language of ‘Black Panther’? It’s real. Give it a try.

OTTAWA — The military’s top general has promised to get to the… Continue reading

5 things you probably didn’t know about the Oscars

LOS ANGELES — You have a firm grip on this year’s Oscar… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month