WASHINGTON (October 1, 2019) – Four transit fleets received the ninth-annual Top User of Propane Autogas Award from the Propane Education & Research Council during the BusCon Expo in Indianapolis. The award celebrates fleets creating healthier environments for riders and communities by using clean, cost-effective, and domestically produced propane autogas. The awards were presented during an awards breakfast on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Indiana Convention Center.
“We are proud to honor these fleets not only as top users of propane autogas, but as fleets that are committed to bettering the environment and providing safe, clean, and reliable transportation for their communities,” said Michael Taylor, director of autogas business development at PERC. “Propane autogas can provide many advantages and benefits, including the lowest total cost-of-ownership, reduced emissions, and reliable performance, to help both private and public fleets provide better service for taxpayers and clients.”
The 2019 award recipients are Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine, represented by Paul Murphy; Forest Preserves of Cook County in Cook County, Illinois, represented by Thomas Thompson; Volusia County Transit in Dayton, Florida, represented by Robert Stephens and Rick Kazawitch; and Davidson County Transportation System in Lexington, North Carolina, represented by Richard Jones.
Acadia National Park
Since 1999, Maine’s Acadia National Park has provided free and convenient transportation to visitors through the propane-powered Island Explorer Bus System. The Island Explorer’s 35-unit fleet transports hundreds of thousands of passengers to the attractions within the park and the surrounding community each year, all without damaging the very fragile and delicate ecosystem. The fleet operates 21 Hometown Trolley buses, 12 ElDorado MSTIIs, and two Ford F-550s. Over the 20 years the Island Explorer has been in business, conservationists estimate it has reduced carbon emissions by over 27,000 tons and has prevented nearly 41 tons of smog-causing pollutants emitted by over 2.9 million private vehicles. The reduced emissions of propane autogas have minimized the environmental impact of the buses on Acadia’s guests, animals, and plants — all while making the park more accessible for visitors every year.
Forest Preserves of Cook County
The Forest Preserves of Cook County manages the largest forest preserve district in the United States, with nearly 70,000 acres of land for visitors to explore. In alignment with the forest preserve’s mission to provide clean, safe outdoor areas for visitors, the department operates several propane-powered vehicles including 15 Ford Interceptors, four transit vans, and one passenger van. The fleet also includes 41 large riding rotary propane-powered lawn mowers. By converting both mowers and vehicles to propane, the Forest Preserves of Cook County has not only been able to significantly reduce emissions, but also lower its fuel and operation costs.
Volusia County Transit
The Volusia County Transit provides a demand-response complimentary ADA paratransit service seven days per week within the urban areas of Volusia County. Starting in 2015, the fleet began running propane-powered paratransit buses in the community. Today, the fleet has expanded to four Ford E-450 Turtle Top paratransit vehicles in operation. By using propane, Volusia County has reported a substantial reduction in vehicle emissions while concurrently lowering fuel costs. The county also uses propane to heat its maintenance shop and operate its forklifts.
Davidson County Transportation System
The Davidson County Transportation System fleet is on the road 12 hours a day, five days a week, providing rides for passengers. Currently, the fleet operates four propane-powered Ford E-450 light transit vehicles on its routes, with plans to add three more vehicles to the fleet in the near future. Because Davidson County receives Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program funding, the fleet officials determined propane autogas would best serve the community because of its lower fuel costs and reduced emissions. Based on the success of the propane-powered transit vehicles, the county is looking to add propane autogas to other Davidson County department vehicles.
For more information on how propane autogas can fuel fleets, to hear testimonials from fleets already using the alternative fuel, or to find resources to help fleets get started with propane autogas, visit Propane.com/Fleet-Vehicles.
About PERC: The Propane Education & Research Council is a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs and invests in research and development of new propane-powered technologies. PERC is operated and funded by the propane industry. For more information, visit Propane.com.