Cleveland Transit Agency Implements Ohio’s First Propane-fueled Paratransit Buses

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New vehicles powered by propane autogas save money, reduce emissions.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has purchased 20 propane autogas paratransit shuttle buses to provide clean and affordable transportation for individuals with disabilities.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has purchased 20 propane autogas paratransit shuttle buses to provide clean and affordable transportation for individuals with disabilities.

By choosing lower-cost, domestically produced propane autogas, the agency is providing clean transportation to its customers and saving taxpayer dollars.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has purchased 20 propane autogas paratransit shuttle buses to provide clean and affordable transportation for individuals with disabilities. The first of its kind in Ohio, the new shuttles are projected to save $21,000 per vehicle in fuel costs and maintenance over a six-year period. The agency will recoup its investment in just over one year.

“We learned of other transit agencies that were successful using propane autogas technology to save money and lower their environmental impact,” said Joe Calabrese, CEO and general manager of the Greater Cleveland RTA. “When you can save money while saving the planet, it’s a no-brainer.”

Built on a Ford E-450 chassis, each paratransit shuttle bus is equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas fuel system installed by Green Alternative Systems. Each bus will emit 125,000 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide over its lifetime, when compared to conventionally fueled counterparts. The RTA has supported clean energy sources for more than 20 years, fueling with electricity, natural gas, hybrids, low-sulfur diesel and, now, propane autogas.

ElDorado National-Kansas designed the body of its Aerotech bus model on a fiberglass composite reinforced structure. The floor plan configuration features a wheelchair lift to accommodate passengers with disabilities. With more than 700,000 trips annually, the paratransit shuttles operate on-demand to qualified customers.

“We’ve combined a proven, durable, lightweight bus design with leading-edge alternative fuel technology to produce a cost-effective vehicle for paratransit shuttle service,” said Jeff Montgomery, president of ElDorado National-Kansas. “We are proud to join our dealer Meyers Equipment and ROUSH CleanTech to meet the special transportation needs of the Greater Cleveland RTA.”

The RTA is one of the largest transit systems in the nation. Currently, the agency is building an onsite propane autogas fueling station. Installing a propane autogas station costs less than any other fueling station, including gasoline or diesel. Historically, autogas costs 30 to 40 percent less than gasoline and about 50 percent less than diesel.

“The Greater Cleveland RTA has been a leader in providing efficient and clean transportation to their community for decades,” said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech. “By choosing lower-cost, domestically produced propane autogas, the agency is providing clean transportation to its customers and saving taxpayer dollars.”

The transit authority will be inaugurating its new autogas fleet during the American Public Transportation Association’s exposition in Houston today. The RTA hopes to switch its entire fleet of 100 paratransit buses to autogas as part of a normal replacement cycle.

About Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority: The Greater Cleveland RTA is the largest public transit system in Ohio and the 13th largest in the nation. With 50 million riders a year, the RTA is the only system in Ohio to offer rail and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service. With a dedicated fleet of buses, trolleys and paratransit vehicles, the RTA covers 457 square miles across 59 municipalities. Founded in 1975, the RTA remains an industry leader in providing more efficient, cleaner transportation options to Northeast Ohio.

About ElDorado National-Kansas: ElDorado National-Kansas, a subsidiary of Allied Specialty Vehicles, Inc. (ASV), manufactures light- and medium-duty commercial buses for public transit, paratransit, airport, parking, hotel/resort, group tour, assisted living, church and university transportation markets. Every vehicle produced at the company’s 252,000 square foot, ISO 9001 certified facility in Salina, Kansas, has met a comprehensive set of quality, performance and safety standards to meet applicable Altoona, FMVSS and CMVSS requirements for ensuring safe and reliable service. Backed by one of the largest and most trusted dealer networks in North America, ElDorado National-Kansas has hundreds of available seating configurations and dozens of vehicle options for accommodating any design request. For more information, visit http://ks.enconline.com/. For more information about ASV, visit http://www.alliedsv.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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