'Compressed natural gas' is a common phrase heard around the Ark-La-Tex, and the transit system for Shreveport and Bossier City is finally getting in on the act. SporTran will soon roll out new environmentally-friendly buses in the Shreveport-Bossier area.
SporTran will have five new CNG buses that will start making routes in March. These first five buses are the start of the transit system switching over their whole fleet from diesel-operated to CNG-operated vehicles.
The new CNG-operated buses will cost about 40% to 50% less to fill up than the old diesel-run vehicles, which will allow SporTran to see a savings in their fuel account long term. Valerie McElhose, Assistant Manager of SporTran, told us that the change to compressed natural gas will also benefit the air because it puts out hardly any emissions. "We're just excited that we have the opportunity to use our local resources, which will decrease our dependency on foreign oil," McElhose said.
A few changes around the SporTran property are also being made to upgrade the maintenance facility and construct their new CNG fueling station, which will allow them to quickly fuel the buses every night. "We also needed to do some renovations to our maintenance shop, so it was in compliance and capable of working on the CNG buses," explained McElhose.
Trees along the SporTran routes also need to be trimmed down to allow for the taller buses before the new buses can start running the routes.
SporTran hopes to have the first five buses on the road in March and expects nine more to be delivered in July. They will eventually replace the entire diesel-operated fleet with new CNG-run buses.