Nearly Half of LeeTran’s Paratransit Fleet Powered by Alternative Fuel

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Public transit agency adds more shuttles equipped with ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel systems to its paratransit fleet this month.

Each of LeeTran's Passport shuttles is built on the Ford E-450 chassis with 6.8L V10 engine, and equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system with extended range 64-usable-gallon fuel tank.

Each of LeeTran's Passport shuttles is built on the Ford E-450 chassis with 6.8L V10 engine, and equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system with extended range 64-usable-gallon fuel t

LeeTran wanted to reduce its emissions and operating cost without compromising range for its paratransit fleet. Our extended range fuel tank on the E-450 is exactly what the agency was looking for.

With a 20 percent reduction in fuel costs, LeeTran has added more propane autogas-fueled shuttles to its paratransit fleet this month. These new vehicles increase the public transit agency’s propane fleet to 20, or 45 percent of its entire paratransit fleet.

“We are converting our vehicles to operate on propane autogas for a number of reasons. It’s an American made fuel with significant environmental benefits; converting to propane infrastructure is more affordable; and propane autogas offers lower fuels prices,” said Robert Southall, maintenance manager of LeeTran, the public transit provider for Lee County. “Currently, we are paying about 50 cents per gallon for propane autogas compared to about $1.46 for diesel, which is on the rise.”

LeeTran provides approximately 4 million rides per year, including over 100,000 passenger trips through its Passport service. The propane autogas paratransit shuttles will be used for shared ride, advanced reservation trips for persons with disabilities who are unable to use regular fixed route public transportation.

Each of the agency’s Passport shuttles, which travel 30,000 miles per year, is built on the Ford E-450 chassis with 6.8L V10 engine, and equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system with extended range 64-usable-gallon fuel tank.

“LeeTran wanted to reduce its emissions and operating cost without compromising range for its paratransit fleet. Our extended range fuel tank on the E-450 is exactly what the agency was looking for,” said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech.

By fueling with propane autogas, LeeTran is eliminating 1.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the shuttles’ lifetime, compared to conventionally fueled counterparts.

The ROUSH CleanTech Ford E-450 shuttle bus has completed Federal Transit Administration’s New Model Bus Testing Program (“Altoona Testing”) and is certified for sale in all 50 states by the California Air Resources Board and Environmental Protection Agency. Altoona-tested vehicles can be purchased using a transit agency’s FTA funds. LeeTran secured FTA funding to cover 85 percent of the total bus purchase.

“Our passengers have told us how much they like the quiet ride of the propane autogas shuttles,” said Southall. “And, our drivers appreciate that the change to an alternative fuel hasn’t affected the vehicles’ performance.”

The agency plans to switch its entire paratransit fleet to propane autogas within the next five years.

About Lee County Transit: Lee County Transit, LeeTran, is the public transit provider for Lee County, providing approximately 4 million rides per year. LeeTran operates 24 bus routes, a paratransit service for the disabled called Passport, and an employer vanpool program. LeeTran employs over 260 people and has a fleet of 50 full-size buses, 10 trolleys and 42 paratransit vans. To learn more about the services offered by LeeTran, or for schedule and fare information, call 239.LEE.TRAN, or visit RideLeeTran.com.

About ROUSH CleanTech: ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology, is a division of ROUSH Enterprises based in Livonia, Michigan. ROUSH CleanTech designs, engineers, manufactures and installs propane autogas fuel system technology for light- and medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles, and Type A and Type C Blue Bird school buses. As a Ford QVM-certified alternative fuel vehicle manufacturer, ROUSH CleanTech delivers economical, clean and domestically produced fueling options for fleets across North America. Learn more at ROUSHcleantech.com or by calling 800.59.ROUSH. 

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Julie Steinmetz
ROUSH CleanTech
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