New propane-powered buses to reduce emissions


SAN DIEGO — Five paratransit buses powered by propane went into service last week as part of a program to reduce exhaust emissions in San Diego, the Metropolitan Transit System announced Tuesday.

The five buses are the first arrivals from an order of 46 paratransit vehicles powered by propane, according to the MTS. The agency has also ordered 31 propane-powered minibuses.

All of the vehicles are expected to be delivered within the next 10 months.

“MTS has made great strides to reduce its carbon footprint in San Diego over the past decade — propane-powered buses are the latest example,” said Paul Jablonski, the transit agency’s CEO. “Over the life cycle of all 77 propane buses purchased, the San Diego region will experience a reduction of more than 13 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The current minibuses, used on low-capacity routes, and paratransit vehicles, which transport passengers with disabilities, are powered by unleaded gas. The MTS estimates a cost savings of nearly $5.8 million over the next five to seven years by making the switch to propane.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, converting vehicles from conventional fuel to propane can reduce greenhouse gas emissions because propane has a lower carbon content.