The City of Calgary, Alberta, has opened what it claims to be the largest indoor compressed natural gas (CNG) bus fueling complex in North America.
The 44,300-square-meter (approximately 476,800-square-foot) facility, located in north-central Calgary, will allow Calgary Transit to provide citizens with a more effective and environmentally friendly transit system, the city says.
The new Stoney Transit Facility is capable of housing more than 470 40-foot buses, 36 maintenance bays, CNG fueling infrastructure and associated staff facilities. It will also provide diesel bus fueling, recognizing the transition period needed to introduce CNG buses into Calgary Transit’s fleet. When fully operational, the facility is expected to save taxpayers more than C$4 million per year on fuel costs, according to the city, which notes that the benefits of using cleaner-burning natural gas include a reduction in lifecycle carbon emissions, reduction in fuel costs, lower maintenance costs compared to other fossil fuel-powered vehicles, and quieter engines.
“I’m so pleased that our fleet of CNG buses are now part of our Calgary Transit fleet,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Investments in transit are among the best investments any city can make; they are investments in the environment, reducing congestion and improving mobility.”
The capital cost of the public/private project was C$174 million, and the federal government and Province of Alberta provided funding. In fall 2016, the city signed an agreement with Plenary Infrastructure Calgary LP to design, build finance and maintain the facility for Calgary Transit.
“Investing in public transit infrastructure is essential to ensuring people can spend less time in traffic commuting home from work and more precious time with their families,” says Ahmed Hussen, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, on behalf of François-Philippe Champagne, minister of infrastructure and communities. “The new Stoney Transit Facility will help meet growing demand, support better daily transit services and protect the environment by supporting cleaner energy systems.”
“Our government has a strong record of investing in a sustainable transportation network for Calgary, supporting both vehicle and public infrastructure,” adds Brian Mason, minister of Alberta transportation. “This facility means more Calgarians will benefit from efficient, safe and environmentally friendly public transit, spending less time in traffic and easily getting to where they need to go.”