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Oakland International Airport to Purchase 26 New CNG Shuttle Buses

The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners recently authorized the purchase of 26 new CNG-powered AirBART and rental car shuttle buses that will be deployed at Oakland International Airport (OAK) beginning in 2009, replacing older diesel-powered models.

Six of the new CNG buses will be assigned to AirBART service, which transports airport users between the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Coliseum/Oakland Airport Station and OAK’s terminals. The remaining 20 CNG buses will support the airport’s Rental Car Center shuttle service.

The replacement of 26 diesel buses with natural gas buses will result in major fuel cost savings for the airport, projected at up to $400,000 annually, based on current market prices.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. will provide fueling services from its public-access CNG station located at OAK’s North Field.

Funding to purchase the 26 new CNG shuttle buses is made possible in part by a $1 increase in the AirBART regular one-way fare which took effect in March 2007, a $10 Customer Facility Charge collected on each rental car contract, and a $250,000 grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. OAK will purchase the shuttles from El Dorado National, based in Chino, Calif.

OAK’s current AirBART buses have been in constant, seven-day per week service for 10 years and have accumulated an average of 600,000 miles per vehicle, which is well beyond the expected life. The current Rental Car Center buses are nearly 27 years old. All of these buses must be retired by the end of 2009 for the Port to conform to the California Air Resources Board requirements.

Comments

Lad

CNG is a good interim fuel for heavy duty diesel work while battery technology is being perfected. That is as long as we are not importing it as LNG. The idea is to reduce our need for foreign fuels and then move to electric drive and off internal combustion engines where possible.

ejj

Lad: I agree....but gasoline prices are starting to come down now. What will probably happen is Iraq will start producing copious amounts of oil, and the global price will come down dramatically. Then, after our collective short-term memory kicks in and we are fat dumb and happy again, the masses will not care about renewables anymore.

What we need is routine saber-rattling in the middle east to keep prices up & spur development/awareness of renewables. Ahmadinejad's insecurities (shooting his mouth off, missile tests, etc) are indirectly good for renewables!

Lad

@eii:
Gasoline usage was down 3-5% and our people were finally getting the message about how our country is being controlled by high oil prices and Cheney's short sighted oil only energy policy. When oil guys like T Boone get concerned, you know you have major problems to solve.

I, like you am afraid the country will revert back to its same old ways if the price of oil falls too far. Let's hope our next President and Congress develops a well-though out energy plan and policy that will move us off fossil fuel and keeps our energy homegrown...this is necessary to make our economy health again...right now, I fear our debtors will call their notes due and the last thing we want to do is print more money and cause the dollar to weaken more than it already has. I think it will take about ten years under a savvy President and friendly Congress to half undo the damage caused by years of ignoring the foreign oil problem.

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