Four transit fleets recently received the ninth-annual Top User of Propane Autogas Award from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) during the BusCon Expo in Indianapolis.
The awards celebrate fleets creating healthier environments for riders and communities by using propane autogas. They were were presented during an awards breakfast on Sept. 25 at the Indiana Convention Center.
The 2019 award recipients are Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine, represented by Paul Murphy; Forest Preserves of Cook County, Ill., represented by Thomas Thompson; Volusia County Transit in Dayton, Fla., represented by Robert Stephens and Rick Kazawitch; and Davidson County Transportation System in Lexington, N.C., represented by Richard Jones.
“We are proud to honor these fleets not only as top users of propane autogas, but as fleets that are committed to bettering the environment and providing safe, clean and reliable transportation for their communities,” says Michael Taylor, director of autogas business development at PERC. “Propane autogas can provide many advantages and benefits, including the lowest total cost-of-ownership, reduced emissions and reliable performance, to help both private and public fleets provide better service for taxpayers and clients.”
Since 1999, Maine’s Acadia National Park has provided free transportation to visitors through the propane-powered Island Explorer Bus System. The 35-unit fleet transports hundreds of thousands of passengers to the attractions within the park and surrounding community each year. The fleet operates 21 Hometown Trolley buses, 12 ElDorado MSTIIs and two Ford F-550s.
Forest Preserves of Cook County
The Forest Preserves of Cook County manages the largest forest preserve district in the U.S., with nearly 70,000 acres of land for visitors to explore. The department operates several propane-powered vehicles, including 15 Ford Interceptors, four transit vans and one passenger van. The fleet also includes 41 riding, propane-powered lawn mowers.
Volusia County Transit
The Volusia County Transit provides a demand-response, complimentary ADA paratransit service seven days per week within the urban areas of Volusia County. Starting in 2015, the fleet began running propane-powered paratransit buses in the community. Today, the fleet has expanded to four Ford E-450 Turtle Top paratransit vehicles in operation.
Davidson County Transportation System
The Davidson County Transportation System fleet is on the road 12 hours a day, five days a week, providing rides for passengers. Currently, the fleet operates four propane-powered Ford E-450 light transit vehicles on its routes, with plans to add three more vehicles to the fleet in the near future. Based on the success of these vehicles, the county is looking to add propane autogas to other Davidson County department vehicles. (More on this fleet’s recognition can be read here.)
ICOM North America, which provides the autogas propane systems for both Acadia National Park and Forest Preserves of Cook County, was also in attendance at the event.
“ICOM is pleased that fleets utilizing ICOM’s propane systems continue to achieve emission reductions using a domestic fuel source while also meeting cost-savings objectives,” comments ICOM’s Ronny Martinez. “Through these awards, they are being recognized for their positive efforts leading to a healthier, cleaner air – a better USA.”