January 28, 2020. The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has placed an order with Motor Coach Industries (MCI) for 24 D4500 Commuter Coaches powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).

San Diego MTS is decreasing its fleet emissions with the purchase of CNG-powered MCI Commuter Coaches, which will replace 12-year-old diesel intercity buses on commuter express routes operating between downtown San Diego and the suburbs.

The MCI Commuter Coach is a leading coach for long-distance commuter routes. Passengers have forward-facing seating, overhead parcel racks and individual reading lights and air-flow controls at every seat. ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and Buy America complaint, San Diego MTS’ newest commuter coaches come equipped with wheelchair lifts and feature the new safety technologies including three-point passenger seatbelts, back up cameras and nine onboard camera surveillance systems.

Each new coach is powered by the Low NOx Cummins ISX12N natural gas engine, certified to the California Air Resources Board, along with having 90 percent fewer NOx emissions than the current North American EPA standard, according to MCI.

“We’re honored to add the CNG MCI Commuter Coach to the fleet of an environmental innovator like San Diego Metropolitan Transit System,” said Tom Wagner, MCI vice president of public sector. “In addition to cleaner mass transportation, these CNG-propelled commuter coaches will provide exceptional comfort to MTS’ ridership and reliable low total cost of operation for many years to come.”

MCI notes that public transit agencies have seen up to a 28 percent reduction in operating and maintenance costs with its CNG Commuter Coaches compared to diesel equivalents.