Department of Transportation

The Purchase and Use of Compressed Natural Gas Buses by Public Transit Systems (Follow-Up Review)

Public transit systems in New York State are overseen by the Department of Transportation. Most of the buses used by these systems are powered by petroleum-based diesel fuel, the emissions from which are a significant source of air pollution. To reduce these emissions as well as to reduce America's dependence on imported petroleum, New York's transit systems have begun to purchase buses powered by compressed natural gas. In our prior report 96-D-11, we examined the advantages and disadvantages of these types of buses, and found that while natural gas buses emit fewer pollutants, they tend to have higher purchase and operating costs. We concluded that transit system operators, in conjunction with Department officials, should continue to assess the costs and benefits of natural gas buses. In our follow-up review, we found that Department officials have yet to perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether buses powered by natural gas are a viable option for New York's public transit systems.

For a complete copy of Report 98-F-33 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.