Ohio transit agency invests over $1.5M in Autogas fleet and infrastructure

Laketran, the regional public transportation system in Lake County, Ohio, unveiled a new 30,000 gallon Autogas fuelling station and public transit bus fleet making its debut on Laketran’s Dial-a-Ride service that provides door-to-door demand response service for seniors and people with disabilities. The $1.6 million infrastructure investment will bring long term environmental and economic benefit to both Laketran and Lake County.

“Tightening standards for emissions and shrinking budgets have been driving the transportation industry toward alternative fuels now more than ever before,” explained Ben Capelle, Laketran’s deputy general manager. “Laketran is always looking for more efficient ways to operate and reduce cost. Right now it costs about $64 a day per vehicle to fuel a Dial-a-Ride bus on diesel. We will reduce the cost to about $40 a day per vehicle running on propane.”

While the agency expects to reduce air pollutants, the low cost and stability of Autogas helps manage costs during a time when the demand of service continues to grow. “We are seeing more diverse needs among seniors and people with disabilities riding our Dial-a-Ride service,” explained Capelle. “The new propane fleet will allow us to dispatch a bus that is most efficient and meets the needs of our customers.” The new Laketran buses are expected to serve nearly 300,000 annual Dial-a-Ride riders.

The new fleet is made up of VT3 and Terra Transit buses that seat either eight or 10 passengers and can accommodate up to three wheelchairs. The entire fleet is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) accessible and each bus is equipped with a wheelchair lift, fold-up seats to accommodate wheelchairs, slip-resistant flooring, an electronic transit door, and a central heating and cooling unit in response to customer concerns about vehicles being too hot or too cold.

“We are really proud of this investment. Not only does the fuel savings allow us to recover the initial infrastructure costs in just four and a half years, but we are putting a clean and healthier product on the streets for the residents of Lake County,” shared Brian Falkowski, board president of Laketran. Want to know more? Please visit this link.