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Cait Sith

NJ Transit to stop buying compressed natural-gas buses

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Two natural-gas buses are being refueled at a NJ Transit garage in this file photo from October

 

HOWELL — New Jersey Transit's nearly decadelong, multimillion-dollar trial run with low-polluting buses that burn compressed natural gas is over — for now.

 

The agency, which has 76 of the buses, does not plan to buy any more because of their overall costs, officials said.

 

"If we were to move to CNG (compressed natural gas) on a wide scale, it would require millions and millions of dollars of capital improvements" at NJ Transit garages, said Dan Stessel, a NJ Transit spokesman.

 

Instead, the agency is buying 1,145 new ultra-low sulfur diesel buses — representing roughly half its fleet, officials said. Their emissions are comparable to those from new CNG buses — yet they cost less.

 

"We monitor the development of CNG technology, and we'll certainly consider it in the future for other purchases," said Joe Dee, another NJ Transit spokesman.

 

NJ Transit's decision illustrates the potential trade-offs faced by government, the private sector and the public in attempting to move toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Sometimes, it just doesn't save money.

 

For NJ Transit, ultra-low sulfur diesel buses are more cost-effective, Stessel said.

 

The new buses cost about $330,000 apiece, or about $30,000 to $50,000 less than a new CNG bus, Dee said.

 

"The savings allows us to purchase more of these ultra-low sulfur diesels than we would have been able to, given the same amount of money," he said. "As a result, we're able to retire more of our older buses, which do not perform as well in terms of emissions, so we end up with a benefit in emission reductions."

 

Even New Jersey Natural Gas — the company that sells natural gas to more than 482,000 customers in Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Morris counties — doesn't use natural gas vehicles. Last year, the company began converting its fleet vehicles to reduce emissions and its carbon footprint, said Michael Kinney, spokesman.

 

"As a first step, we began converting crew trucks to biodiesel fuel," which will help reduce emissions by up to 10 percent, he said.

 

The company used CNG vehicles years ago, "but the cost and availability of the vehicles and the size of the (fueling) tanks on the trucks made it a less viable option, so we have not been using them in recent times," Kinney said.

 

But the natural gas company still has the infrastructure for CNG filling stations at its Wall and Lakewood facilities, and could use them if it decides to use CNG vehicles again, he said.

 

"So as the market continues to develop, we'll continue to monitor it and see what opportunities and what options make the most sense for our company," Kinney said.

 

Only one passenger CNG vehicle, the Honda Civic GX, is on the market now, he said.

 

But Civic GX owners can't refuel on the road in New Jersey because there are no public refueling stations.

 

FuelMaker Corp. of Toronto sells Phill, the world's first appliance for refueling a natural gas vehicle from a household natural gas line, according to its Web site. It costs about $3,500 to $4,000 installed, Kinney said.

 

None of the units is installed in Monmouth or Ocean counties, according to Jeff Harju, marketing manager for FuelMaker Corp. Most are sold in California, he said.

 

http://www.app.com/article/20081123/NEWS01/811230325

 

And they have compobuses arriving soon, or as they say...

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I hate them CNGs!

 

yes I hate em as well.....you should try and drive em for like 10hrs a day.....at my depot......that's all we have.........and they are putting in this back breaker seat called the Liberty 11.......those who read this....Stop changing the recaro seat for a cheap seat.....too many guys are getting hurt with that seat!!!

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I like CNG technology. More trucks & busses should be CNG. We have enough natural gas on our shores to supply half or more of the country's vehicles (of any kind) if they were CNG.

 

I agree with T. Boone Pickens's plan.

 

Hopefully after the new rail equipment is done being purchased they will give CNG a second try.

 

- A

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yes I hate em as well.....you should try and drive em for like 10hrs a day.....at my depot......that's all we have.........and they are putting in this back breaker seat called the Liberty 11.......those who read this....Stop changing the recaro seat for a cheap seat.....too many guys are getting hurt with that seat!!!

 

That's why I don't like College Point anymore.....they had good TMC RTS-06 and they rid of them for those garbage CNG buses that's why I stopping riding the QBx1 to Co-op City from Flushing.....lawd them buses are so annoying. I dislike them buses with a passion

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That's why I don't like College Point anymore.....they had good TMC RTS-06 and they rid of them for those garbage CNG buses that's why I stopping riding the QBx1 to Co-op City from Flushing.....lawd them buses are so annoying. I dislike them buses with a passion

 

 

OK...We got the point:)...which bus you rather ride Orion Vll or Orion V cng?...did you hate Orion V too?

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OK...We got the point:)...which bus you rather ride Orion Vll or Orion V cng?...did you hate Orion V too?

 

I rather ride the Orion VII NG...but I doubt you meant that one. B/w Orion VII CNG and Orion V CNG. Neither b/c I can't stand either buses. I only like Orion V #400, 500 and 6000 series!

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Sorry to bump the thread but I still see plenty of the CNG's on Howell's runs, particularly the 139 rush hour ones. Finally got one today on the 139, the seats are definately shorter and a bit more uncomfortable, and the acceleration seems abit slower though once it gets up to highway speed it moves!

I dont think these are going to be retired anytime soon though, for 12 years old they are in very good shape. Especially when you compare them with the 12 year old Orion V CNG's we have remaining at MTA LI Bus.

They could always give them to LI Bus, then we'd have CNG powered MCI's for the LIRR runs (because LIB likes to brag about being 100% CNG).

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Sorry to bump the thread but I still see plenty of the CNG's on Howell's runs, particularly the 139 rush hour ones. Finally got one today on the 139, the seats are definately shorter and a bit more uncomfortable, and the acceleration seems abit slower though once it gets up to highway speed it moves!

I dont think these are going to be retired anytime soon though, for 12 years old they are in very good shape. Especially when you compare them with the 12 year old Orion V CNG's we have remaining at MTA LI Bus.

They could always give them to LI Bus, then we'd have CNG powered MCI's for the LIRR runs (because LIB likes to brag about being 100% CNG).

NJT couldn't afford to replace them yet so they have to continue buying more CNG to fuel the buses up.

 

Once they get rid of those 70xxs, NJT won't replace them with more CNGs.

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NJT couldn't afford to replace them yet so they have to continue buying more CNG to fuel the buses up.

 

Once they get rid of those 70xxs, NJT won't replace them with more CNGs.

 

They really dont need to be replaced yet. Bad enough the Flx's are going away! I'd rather them buy less new buses, and not cut service.

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They really dont need to be replaced yet. Bad enough the Flx's are going away! I'd rather them buy less new buses, and not cut service.

 

I never driven a CNG, but I was a passenger on those buses. They are uncomfortable and slower than the regular D4500's that we got. I could outrun those buses whenever I worked 308 or 319 on the turnpike, without even speeding. Howell, I give you guys credit. Half of you guys don't even like the 7100's you guys got yet you bust a move on those things pretty good (And I like the inside of those buses and the different controls too.).

 

NJT is in debt by a few hundred million dollars. They're releasing at least 200 employees. June 26th, Bus routes will be either eliminated or reduced. The NABI order of 1300+ Buses was reduced to about 1150 (I might be wrong, so correct me if I am). I seriously doubt that unless a MAJOR bus failure happen with the current MCI fleet, that the buses that we have now (with the exception of the buses that are going to be retiring within the next few years - Metro D's and Nova A's & B's), that NJT will be buying any more buses except what's coming in now, which is the NABI's. Shoot, I tried to get my job back last month and the human resources lady told me that if it wasn't for the hiring freeze, they'd hire me back in a heartbeat. Things are bad now. Bad then I ever seen at NJT. NJT will use those CNG like they used the Metro B's until they can't run no more. Those CNG's are over 10 to 12 years old. 7001 and 7002 was brought in in '98. The rest in '99 and '00. They'll be here till at least 2020. NJT will get their money's worth our of those buses that are nearly $450,000 each. Trust me, they're not going anywhere yet.

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I never driven a CNG, but I was a passenger on those buses. They are uncomfortable and slower than the regular D4500's that we got. I could outrun those buses whenever I worked 308 or 319 on the turnpike, without even speeding. Howell, I give you guys credit. Half of you guys don't even like the 7100's you guys got yet you bust a move on those things pretty good (And I like the inside of those buses and the different controls too.).

 

NJT is in debt by a few hundred million dollars. They're releasing at least 200 employees. June 26th, Bus routes will be either eliminated or reduced. The NABI order of 1300+ Buses was reduced to about 1150 (I might be wrong, so correct me if I am). I seriously doubt that unless a MAJOR bus failure happen with the current MCI fleet, that the buses that we have now (with the exception of the buses that are going to be retiring within the next few years - Metro D's and Nova A's & B's), that NJT will be buying any more buses except what's coming in now, which is the NABI's. Shoot, I tried to get my job back last month and the human resources lady told me that if it wasn't for the hiring freeze, they'd hire me back in a heartbeat. Things are bad now. Bad then I ever seen at NJT. NJT will use those CNG like they used the Metro B's until they can't run no more. Those CNG's are over 10 to 12 years old. 7001 and 7002 was brought in in '98. The rest in '99 and '00. They'll be here till at least 2020. NJT will get their money's worth our of those buses that are nearly $450,000 each. Trust me, they're not going anywhere yet.

 

The whole list of bus cuts can be found here. It aint pretty.:(

http://www.njtransit.com/var/var_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=ServiceChangesBusTo

 

http://www.njtransit.com/var/var_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=ServiceChangesPvtCarrierTo

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Finally, something new in Howell.

 

I thought those 7100's you guys got were new for you guys. You guys still hate them? (When I worked Six Flags last year on 308, half of ya said they were POS)

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