VIA fleet transformation signals route to a clearer future
SAN ANTONIO (April 18, 2018) – VIA Metropolitan Transit officially dedicated its new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station April 18, at the regional transit agency’s San Antonio campus. Guests at the Wednesday morning Dedication Ceremony got a first look inside the 10,980 square foot compressor compound that stands as the largest in North America.
The 10-lane station began operating in 2017 to support the first of VIA’s new CNG-powered fleet that debuted in observance of Earth Day. VIA’s full fleet conversion will be complete in 2025. More than half of VIA’s diesel revenue vehicles have been replaced with CNG buses to date.
Since it began operation, the station has saved over $1 million in fuel costs. The facility’s dedication is meant to commemorate VIA’s first full year of CNG bus service and raise awareness of Ozone Action Season in San Antonio. Installation of the new fueling station on 1720 N. Flores St. and continued procurement of lower-emissions vehicles will make VIA the largest customer of CPS Energy’s CNG fuel program.
“The CNG fueling station services a new generation of VIA buses and highlights our role as an industry leader to drive innovation that improves air quality throughout the region,” VIA President and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “Through strategic and community partnerships, VIA’s efforts to ensure a more mobile future include benchmarks for efficiency, substantial fuel savings, and infrastructure improvements that come with building a modern transportation system for our region.”
VIA’s CNG program is part of a multi-year, community-driven plan to build a better bus system while significantly reducing vehicle emissions, decreasing operating costs, and planning service enhancements. Once complete, the transformed fleet will bring a 97-percent reduction of nitrogen oxide, or NOx, emissions and further support the agency’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The annual fuel cost savings are estimated at $8.5 million, and the maintenance savings, over a five-year period, are estimated at $2 million.
The Alamo Area Council of Governments recognized VIA’s efforts in April 2018 with an Air Quality Stewardship Award for taking action to improve air quality and serve as a “beacon to other businesses, agencies and organizations in the region.”
Trillium CNG, part of the Love’s Family of Companies, was contracted in 2016 to design and build the CNG facility. The new station includes the addition of 10 CNG dispensers operated by seven 700-horsepower compressors, with a total flow rate of more than 85 gallons per minute. The existing dispensers – 10 diesel fuel and 6 propane – will be phased out once the conversion to CNG is complete. VIA’s new CNG buses are manufactured by Nova. The 40-foot buses have a 67-passenger capacity. The contract with Nova Bus calls for the delivery of 425 vehicles over a five-year period.
About VIA Metropolitan Transit
VIA provides regional multimodal transportation options that connect our community to opportunity, support economic vitality, and enhance quality of life throughout our region. VIA, recognized by the Texas Transit Association in 2016 as the outstanding Metro Transit Authority of the year, serves 14 member cities and the unincorporated areas of Bexar County, operating seven days a week on 92 routes. Last year, VIA provided nearly 40 million rides across the region. VIA’s AAA bond rating reflects the organization’s sound management and financial practices. Visit VIAinfo.net for more information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
CONTACT: Lorraine Pulido, Ph.D.