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.