Sun Tran, the public transit system serving the city of Tucson, Ariz., has introduced 15 new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses into its fixed-route service.
The 40-ft. GILLIG CNG buses produce lower emissions than standard-fueled vehicles and older CNG vehicles, helping improve air quality in the community. The new buses replace older biodiesel-fueled buses, reducing the average fleet age to 7.7 years.
“These new CNG buses maintain Sun Tran’s commitment to utilize clean fuel technology in a cost-effective manner,” says Steve Spade, general manager of Sun Tran. “As we continue to test the first electric bus in Tucson, the CNG buses allow Sun Tran to further reduce emissions and improve air quality.”
Sun Van recently put 21 new Ford E-Series Cutaway Vans into service for its paratransit fleet. The new vehicles replaced aging vans to improve the overall safety and reliability of service to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passengers. On Dec.1, 21 more E-Series Cutaway Vans will go into revenue service, decreasing the average fleet age to 2.36 years.
Each 22-foot vehicle can accommodate nine passengers and features a longer wheelbase (138 in.) than current Sun Van vehicle models. The longer wheelbase increases floor space inside the vehicle, allowing better maneuverability into the wheelchair securement area for passengers.
Since 2006, 100% of Sun Tran’s fleet has utilized clean fuel technology. The current breakdown of Sun Tran’s fleet, and which fuel type each bus is using consists of the following: 128 B5 biodiesel; 83 CNG; 11 hybrid-electric/biodiesel; and 1 electric.
In early 2021, Sun Tran will receive 5 additional electric buses to add to its fleet.
Photo: Sun Tran’s landing page