Blue Water Area Transit adds eleven new natural gas buses

February 5, 2019. Blue Water Area Transit (BWAT),Michigan, will put eleven new buses on the road this month. With the new multipurpose buses, BWAT will provide dial-a-ride and fixed-route service. BWAT is replacing buses that have reached their seven-year life expectancy.

   “Investing in these new buses continues our commitment to giving our community clean, comfortable and dependable transportation, while improving air quality,” said Jim Wilson, BWAT general manager.

   BWAT’s new Champion (model LF-Transport) buses can each carry 16 seated riders (or 12 seated riders with two wheelchairs). The new buses feature a “smart” electronically controlled suspension system that maintains a smooth air ride. Drivers are able to lift the entire low-floor bus up to 2.5 inches when needed to clear bumps. Also, a large passenger-side cab window increases the curbside visibility of drivers.

   The new buses are powered by compressed natural gas, an economical alternative fuel that results in cleaner air than diesel fuel. The new buses represent a $2.1 million investment in improving the quality of life throughout the Blue Water Area.

   “BWAT supports local air quality by running its entire fleet of buses on earth-friendly compressed natural gas,” explained Anita R. Ashford, Blue Water Area Transportation Commission Board vice chair and Port Huron mayor pro tem. “It’s better for riders and the entire community.”

   BWAT is Michigan’s leading producer of compressed natural gas, with the largest fleet of CNG buses in the state. The agency started producing the alternative fuel in 1996 and now operates four public CNG fueling stations.