Motor Coach Ind. (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., an independent global bus manufacturer, says the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has ordered 24 MCI D4500 commuter coaches powered by natural gas.
MTS is decreasing its fleet emissions with the purchase of CNG-powered MCI coaches, which will replace 12-year old diesel intercity buses on commuter express routes operating between downtown San Diego and the suburbs.
“This purchase is an important milestone for MTS, as we will now be able to retire the last of our diesel buses,” says Paul Jablonski, CEO of MTS. “MTS operates one of the cleanest fleets in the U.S., and the agency has made significant contributions to reduce emissions for our region. This puts near-zero-emission buses on both of our premium Rapid Express freeway routes.”
According to the company, the MCI commuter coach is the nation’s leading coach for long-distance commuter routes. Passengers enjoy forward-facing seating, overhead parcel racks and individual reading lights and air-flow controls at every seat. MTS’s newest commuter coaches come equipped with wheelchair lifts and feature the newest safety technologies including three-point passenger seatbelts, back up cameras and onboard nine camera surveillance systems.
Each new coach is powered by the low-NOx Cummins Westport ISX12N natural gas engine, certified to the California Air Resources Board, along with having 90% fewer NOx emissions than the current North American EPA standard.
A proponent of clean fuels, San Diego’s MTS was the first public transit agency in California and the U.S. to move to a CNG fleet, in the early 2000s. Additionally, the agency uses renewable natural gas (RNG) to fuel its entire fleet of 40- and 60-foot fixed-route CNG buses. Fleets fueling with RNG can achieve near-zero carbon footprints.
MCI has been building CNG-powered commuter coaches since 1999, with hundreds of CNG MCI models currently operating in the fleets of agencies nationwide.
Photo: MCI bus powered by natural gas