July 23, 2021. New heavy-duty compressed natural gas (CNG) buses are now operating in the Victoria Regional Transit System, Canada. Starting today, ten heavy-duty CNG buses will be gradually put into service over a two-week period. These ten buses are in addition to 35 heavy-duty CNG buses and 25 medium-duty CNG buses added to fleet in 2020.
The benefits of CNG technology are both environmental and economic, with reductions in tailpipe emissions and operational costs. FortisBC supplies natural gas for BC Transit’s CNG fleets, while the CNG fueling station, located at the Langford operations and maintenance facility, is built and maintained by Clean Energy. The transition to a fully electric fleet is being supported by sourcing renewable fuels and the acquisition of CNG buses and fueling infrastructure.
The 40-foot heavy-duty New Flyer buses can carry 35 seated passengers and 46 standing passengers. Each new bus is also equipped with a three-inch bike rack, white LED destination sign and full driver door, a protective door placed on the exterior of the operator seat. In addition to these features, there are new USB charge ports for passenger use and upgraded vinyl seat material, which makes the seats easier to clean.
The cost of each heavy-duty CNG bus is approximately $710,000, funded through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). The federal and provincial governments are each contributing 40 per cent of the cost, with the Victoria Regional Transit Commission funding the remaining 20 per cent. The Victoria Regional Transit System is one of five BC Transit systems operating a CNG fleet, including Whistler, Nanaimo, Kamloops and Central Fraser Valley.