Red Deer Transit rolls out 17 new natural gas buses

July 11, 2017. The future of Red Deer transit was rolled out on Tuesday with new buses that are more environmentally friendly and cost efficient. The 17 new public transit buses that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) instead of diesel are being phased in on various city routes over the next few weeks.

   Purchased through the Quebec-based Nova Bus (affiliated with Volvo) each bus costs just over $500,000 — which is a little more than a conventional diesel-fuelled bus, said Trever Sparrow, superintendent of conventional services for the City’s transit department. But he believes it’s well worth it, since the new CNG buses use 30 per cent less fuel per kilometer, and their fuel costs are 40 per cent lower than diesel — resulting in less green house gas emissions and more taxpayer savings.

   The goal is to gradually replace the rest of the city transit fleet (consisting of a total of 63 conventional buses and 24 Action Buses for people with disabilities) with more vehicles that run on compressed natural gas.

   So far, the city has used $5-million of its federal gas tax Fund allocation and $10.1 million in provincial GreentTRIP funding for the new CNG bus purchases. The City of Red Deer also funded about $600,000 from fuel and capital reserves to cover the remaining cost.

   The $15.7 million project also includes the installation of a CNG fueling station in the city’s civic yards and some upgrades to the bus storage facility and maintenance garage.