VIA Metropolitan Transit to convert to compressed natural gas buses

May 9, 2017. VIA Metropolitan Transit debuted several buses on Thursday that use compressed natural gas (CNG) as fuel in San Antonio, Texas. VIA plans to convert to an all CNG fleet of 400 buses by 2020.

   VIA’s transitioning to the new buses to be more sustainable and to decrease operating costs. The current fleet of buses is 12 to 15 years old. Jeffrey Arndt is President and CEO of VIA. He says the conversion will generate an estimated annual fuel savings of $8.5 million.

   “First of all the customers are going to get new buses,” Arndt says. “Should be a bit more reliable, more comfortable, they’re quieter. They will be less expensive for us to fuel. They’ll be less expensive for us to maintain. There's a financial benefit. There’s the environmental benefit. There’s the reduction in the emissions—97% NOx.”

   NOx, or nitrogen oxide vehicle emissions, contribute to ground level ozone which is monitored by the state. Arndt says these buses will help San Antonio stay within attainment – or under state-mandated levels.

   VIA will replace more than half of its existing fleet by this fall. The conversion will make VIA the largest customer of CPS Energy’s CNG fuel program.