COMO Connect considering buying more eco-friendly buses
COLUMBIA - COMO Connect is considering buying more eco-friendly buses after testing out several fuel-efficient models.
The city of Columbia purchased two forty-foot buses and five Para-Transit buses equipped with Compressed Natural Gas technology, which burns fuel more efficiently than standard diesel buses.
COMO Connect's Multi-Modal Manager Drew Brooks said the technology helps lower fuel costs.
"You see a savings of about a dollar a gallon equivalent, so compared to a diesel bus, you're saving about a dollar per gallon equivalent, which can add up to forty or fifty dollars a day per vehicle in savings," Brooks said.
He also said the eco-friendly technology is better for the environment.
"In addition, they burn a lot cleaner so the actual emissions coming out of the tail pipe are significantly lower and they require less maintenance because they don't have quite the same filter requirements and maintenance intervals," Brooks said.
He also said the CNG-equipped buses cost about $60,000 more than a diesel vehicle, but pay for themselves.
"Our goal is to really diversify the fleet, we don't want to have all of our eggs in any one basket, and so we anticipate we will always have some diesel vehicles in the fleet as well as CNG, and we're also looking into electric buses as well," Brooks said.
City officials are collecting data to determine whether or not to buy more CNG-vehicles in the future.