CNG powered bus fleet cutting emissions in Houston

July 4, 2018. Houston, the biggest city in Texas and one of the most populated cities in the U.S., is ranked among the most ozone-polluted cities in the country by the American Lung Association. And authorities say transport pollution is the biggest contributor to the Houston smog problem.

   But one major bus operator believes they’re doing a good job in not adding to the problem by using compressed natural gas (CNG) powered city buses instead of diesel.

   METRO Houston runs a fleet of around 1.200 buses, but since 2016 50 of those buses have been powered by natural gas.

   Since they were introduced the buses have travelled 8.2 million miles (more than 13 million kilometers) using more than one million gallons of CNG each year (3.78 million liters).

   The CNG use has eliminated 1,078 tones of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) gas emissions. While the operator has quoted EPA data showing a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and a 70% slashing of carbon monoxide with the use of CNG.

   Helping to keep the buses moving is a network of CNG refueling stations owned by Freedom CNG. Co-Manager Bill Winters saying the company is proud of the partnership that allows for a cleaner alternative. “METRO, as one of the largest diesel buyers in the area, has a unique opportunity to significantly improve air quality locally by expanding the use of CNG for a large percentage. It can be a catalyst for change in Houston by encouraging other local governmental entities to use CNG, which is a proven, clean, cheap, stable, locally produced and reliable transportation fuel.”

   Another 20 CNG buses from U.S. bus manufacturer New Flyer Industries are about to be added to the METRO fleet.