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LA Metro Buys 96 More Natural Gas Buses

The Metro Liner.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) has exercised its first option to acquire 96 additional Cummins Westport 320-hp L Gas Plus-powered, compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled Metro Liners.

LA Metro ordered its first 200 Metro Liners were ordered in 2003 and took delivery of them in 2005 and 2006. The Metro Liners are high-capacity, articulated buses that operate on Los Angeles’ busiest bus corridors, including the Metro Orange Line, a 14-mile exclusive transitway opened in 2005.

The 60-foot Metro Liners are 20 feet longer than a standard transit bus and seat 57 passengers. Manufactured by North American Bus Industries, Inc. (NABI) of Anniston, AL, the buses use a 6 cylinder, 8.9 liter CWI L Gas Plus CNG engine that delivers 320 horsepower.

At that rating, the engine delivers 30% more power than engines in conventional transit buses. It was designed specifically for large transit vehicles and refuse trucks, where high performance, low emissions and competitive operating costs are all equally important.

This is also the base engine platform for the evolution to the 0.2 g NOx 2007 ISL G that will meet 2010 regulations at launch, 80% below the 2007 1.2 g NOx phase-in provision. (Earlier post.)


Rafael Seidl

Emissions are a problem in the peculiar topography of LA, so it makes sense right now to buy CNG buses rather than diesel - US vehicle manufacturers are behind the curve on particulate filter technology. Anything that make public transport more attractive is a net gain.

However, natural gas is relatively scarce in Californi and, gas pipelines subject to earthquakes. Therefore, it would be great if the amount of natural gas burnt in the buses were freed up by using biogas for electricity generation elsewhere in the state. Biogas can be generated from various sources, including dried sewage. Needless to say, it needs extensive pre- and post-combustion treatments, to avoid damage to the gas engine/turbine as well as intolerable odors, making it better suited to stationary applications. More here:


any reason why they bought these buses and not the hybrid ones that NABI was showing off sometime last year?

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