Twin Cities Transit System to Increase Percentage of Biodiesel in Bus Fuel; Will Order 20 More Hybrid Buses
|One of the Metro Transit GM hybrid buses|
Metro Transit buses serving the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, will begin using a 5% biodiesel blend (B5) in July for its fuel and will begin a comprehensive test of an 8% biodiesel blend (B8) for potential future use shortly thereafter.
Minnesota Lt. Governor Carol Molnau and Metropolitan Council Chair Peter Bell announced the increase at a State Capitol event. Minnesota state law requires a 2% biodiesel blend in all diesel sold in the state.
In addition to using renewable fuel, Metro Transit operates three diesel-electric hybrid buses, manufactured by Gillig with the GM-Allison hybrid powertrain. This year Metro Transit plans to order 20 more hybrid electric buses for delivery as early as 2008.
Metro Transit began using Ultra Low-Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) in its fleet in July 2004 in half of its fleet of buses. Use of ULSD reduces particulate emissions by about 10% and, in 2005, Metro Transit expanded the use of ULSD fleetwide, including the 2% biodiesel mix.
In addition to being the first state to mandate biodiesel, Minnesota was the first to implement an ethanol standard. Since 1997, Minnesota law has required all gasoline sold within the state to include 10% ethanol (E10). Last year, Governor Pawlenty proposed and signed into law legislation that will move the state to a 20% ethanol standard by 2013.