Transit Agencies Deploy Propane Autogas Paratransit Shuttles


Two Washington transit agencies, Kitsap Transit and Whatcom Transportation Authority, have added ROUSH CleanTech Ford E-450 propane autogas paratransit shuttles to their fleets.

Kitsap Transit, which serves Kitsap County outside of Seattle, has deployed 49 propane shuttles to its ACCESS paratransit fleet, replacing aging diesel models. Whatcom Transportation Authority, providing service throughout Whatcom County in the northwestern corner of Washington, has purchased 22 propane buses, replacing gasoline models.

For refueling, Kitsap Transit has two 2,000-gallon dispensers at its North and Charleston facilities, as well as one 1,000-gallon leased dispenser at its South facility. The agency reports it saves almost 70% per gallon when purchasing fuel for its propane shuttles, compared to its diesel shuttles.

Whatcom Transportation Authority has three 1,000-gallon dispensers on its property to accommodate its propane fleet.

Both agencies have found that propane vehicles yield lower maintenance costs, including fewer quarts of oil required, fewer oil changes, and less costly filter packages.

“Propane has reduced our maintenance costs and wear and tear on the engine and components,” says Dennis Griffey, maintenance director for Kitsap Transit. “We don’t need to do as much servicing for fluids, coolants and filters.”

Kitsap Transit and Whatcom Transportation Authority both plan to add more propane vehicles to their fleets. Every future paratransit order for Whatcom Transportation Authority will be propane-fueled, and Kitsap Transit will replace all of its remaining 6.6-liter diesels with the 7.3-liter low nitrogen oxide Ford E-450 propane cutaway vehicles.

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