CHARLOTTE, NC – Mineta San Jose International Airport said its entire 34-bus fleet is now transitioned from diesel to compressed natural gas. The airport — which began operating its first 20 clean-air buses in 2003 — said it put 14 new blue CNG shuttle buses into service over the past two weeks to replace its remaining diesel-fuel vehicles, according to www.bizjournals.com.
The conversion of the entire bus fleet to clean-air vehicles has been assisted by $1.4 million in grants over the past five years from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
The airport said it has eliminated the use of more than 1.3 million gallons of diesel fuel since 2003 as a result of its first phase of conversion to CNG buses. This has saved more than $3 million in fuel costs and reduced vehicle exhaust emissions by about 76 tons every year. With the new buses in service, the airport estimates it will be able to reduce total exhaust emissions by nearly 100 tons a year compared to 2001 levels.
In addition, the airport has encouraged clean air conversion of taxis through operational incentives and grants and more than 45 percent of all taxi trips from the airport now are in alternative-fuel vehicles that use CNG or hybrid electricity, compared to six percent in 2005.
The airport opened its compressed natural gas station in August 2003, which is available to the general public and commercial fleets with CNG vehicles. The fueling station originally cost $3.1 million, for which the Airport received grants totaling $750,000 from the California Energy Commission and VTA.
The CNG buses are leased from Penske Truck Leasing and were built to the airport’s specifications by New Flyer Industries. The fleet, which serves passengers and employees using long-term and employee parking areas, rental car center, and the airport’s terminals, is operated under a contract with ShuttlePort California LLC.