Saturday, December 15, 2007

Natural Gas Powered Transit

In today’s world with fuel prices rising almost hourly, large metropolitan centers are contemplating new cost-cutting ideas for public transportation while keeping the transit riding populace happy and on time. Buses and trains powered by electricity have proven to be an advantageous option for many cities in the Northwest United States, especially in Washington State with their ability to keep the price of electricity affordably low due to their cache of dams on large rivers such as the Columbia. But electric buses and trains are bound to areas where there exist lines or rails, of course, and for passengers outside of downtown areas, other options have had to be considered. Overwhelmingly, compressed natural gas has come to the fore as the cleanest burning, least expensive alternative, and its abundance in the United States, has made it the overwhelming choice of transit companies around the country.

Pierce Transit, just south of Seattle in the Tacoma, Washington area touts itself as a company committed to their “Clean Machines”. Their fleet of compressed natural gas powered buses reduces nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions by ninety percent versus their diesel-powered cousins. The buses also produce no soot or other particulates; diesel buses emit a gallon of soot into the atmosphere for every 570 miles traveled. Not only are these buses better for the air; they produce less noise pollution as well. Neighborhoods are much quieter thanks to the new natural gas buses, though perhaps one could miss the bus due to its quieter cruising ability through cul-de-sac-ville! Pierce Transit owns and operates several fast-fill compressor stations that have the ability to refuel three buses simultaneously in less than ten minutes. Also, instead of requiring the purchase of all new buses, Pierce Transit chose to convert their existing fleet to natural gas power, cutting more costs that would have definitely trickled down to the riders if new bus expenditures had proved necessary.

Pierce Transit has been lauded by agencies across the country including the American Lung Association, the Natural Gas Vehicle Association, the American Gas Association, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The U.S. Department of Energy bestowed upon Pierce Transit the prestigious Clean Cities National Partner Award, for their commitment to clean burning fuel. Pierce Transit was one of the first public transportation fleets in the entire U.S. to convert to these “clean machines”. Natural Gas refining and distribution outfits like Triple Diamond Energy Corp continue to explore and extract the natural gas integral to keeping large transportation fleets such as Pierce Transit’s up and running.

About the Author: Robert Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit

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