Allegan County News & Union Enterprise News

Allegan County Transportation switches to propane transit buses

Allegan County Transportation now operates seven new buses powered by propane autogas to help the county meet air quality attainment goals and save taxpayer dollars.
 “This month, Allegan County Transportation is excited to embark on propane autogas implementation for a number of reasons, including the improved air quality for all Allegan County residents along with substantial cost savings,” said Whitney Ehresman, Transportation Director with the county.
 Propane autogas is a nontoxic, non-carcinogenic and non-corrosive fuel that poses no harm to groundwater or soil. The Environmental Protection Agency’s classifies the fuel as a non-contaminant. Vehicles operated by propane autogas emit fewer greenhouse gases, less nitrogen oxides, less carbon monoxide and fewer particulate emissions compared with other fuels. Results from a study from West Virginia University’s Center of Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions show that propane buses reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 96%.
 “The new propane vehicles, comprising a quarter of the county’s public transit fleet vehicles, will be used to serve our citizens,” said Dan Wedge, Executive Director of Services. “The Board of Commissioner’s strategic plan includes ongoing expansion of transportation services County wide.”
 The county estimates it will save about 50% on fuel costs and up to 70% on maintenance costs.
 “Propane autogas is a popular alternative fuel choice because propane vehicles have lower lifetime ownership costs, reduce maintenance burdens, and help fleets meet upcoming emissions standards,” said Todd Mouw, executive vice president of ROUSH CleanTech, the propane technology manufacturer.
 Allegan County Transportation’s propane buses, which are 90% cleaner than EPA’s current emissions standard, better prepare the county for additional national emissions requirements set to be implemented in 2024 and 2027.
 “With propane vehicles, everyone benefits. Citizens, maintenance staff, drivers and taxpayers — everyone wins,” said Dan Wedge, Executive Director of Services for Allegan County.
 There are more than 1,500 propane-powered transit vehicles operating in transit agencies around the nation, including Boyne City, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lapeer and Saginaw in Michigan alone.

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