San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has ordered 24 MCI D4500 Commuter Coaches powered by natural gas from Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group.
MTS is decreasing its fleet emissions with the purchase of CNG-powered MCI Commuter Coaches, which will replace 12-year old diesel intercity buses on commuter express routes operating between downtown San Diego and suburbs.
Each new coach is powered by the Low NOx Cummins ISX12N natural gas engine, certified to the California Air Resources Board, along with having 90% fewer NOx emissions than the current North American EPA standard.
A pioneer and proponent of clean fuels, San Diego's MTS was the first public transit agency in California and the United States to move to a CNG fleet in early 2000s. Additionally, the agency uses renewable natural gas (RNG) to fuel its entire fleet of 40- and 60-foot fixed-route CNG buses. Fleets fueling with RNG can achieve near-zero carbon footprints.
MCI has been building CNG-powered Commuter Coaches since 1999, with hundreds of CNG MCI models currently operating in the fleets of agencies nationwide.
"We're honored to add the CNG MCI Commuter Coach to the fleet of an environmental innovator like San Diego Metropolitan Transit System." said Tom Wagner, MCI Vice President of Public Sector. "In addition to cleaner mass transportation, these CNG-propelled Commuter Coaches will provide exceptional comfort to TSM's ridership and reliable low total cost of operation for many years to come."
MCI notes that public transit agencies have seen up to a 28% reduction in operating and maintenance costs with its CNG Commuter Coaches compared to diesel equivalents.
"This purchase is an important milestone for MTS as we will now be able to retire the last of our diesel buses," said MTS Chief Executive Officer Paul Jablonski. "MTS operates one of the cleanest fleets in the United States and the agency has made significant contributions to reduce emissions for our region. This puts near zero emission buses on both of our premium Rapid Express freeway routes."