Department of Transportation

Staff Study: The Purchase and Use of Compressed Natural Gas Buses by Public Transit Systems

Public transit systems in New York State are overseen by the Department of Transportation, which provides the systems with financial aid and technical assistance. Most of the buses used by these transit 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, transit systems have begun to purchase buses powered by compressed natural gas. We reviewed these purchases and determined that, compared to diesel buses, natural gas buses have both advantages and disadvantages. For example, while natural gas buses emit fewer pollutants, they tend to have higher purchase and operating costs. We conclude that transit system operators, in conjunction with Department officials, should continue to assess the costs and benefits of natural gas buses.

For a complete copy of 96-D-11 click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.