Letter: Natural gas option

August 20, 2013


To the editor:

It was surprising to see the consent agenda for last Tuesday’s City Commission meeting included a no-bid line item of $1,275,000 for the purchase of three new T buses, two diesel and one hybrid; $1,058,205 will come from a federal grant and $216,750 will be paid by the city. Wisely, it was withdrawn for further discussion.

Online sources state a hybrid bus costs from $70,000 to $100,000 more than a straight diesel. Before buying a second hybrid, the commission should receive data showing that the fuel efficiency of the existing hybrid is high enough to offset the increased purchase and maintenance costs. And, while it is legal to make the purchase without a bid, it seems the specs could be furnished to other vendors to see if savings might be achieved.

More importantly, across the nation and locally, cities are switching to trucks and buses powered by compressed natural gas. They reduce pollution while cutting fuel costs. In some places, the price equals $1.50 per gallon for diesel fuel. Kansas City, Kan., schools are buying 47 natural-gas-powered buses; Lee’s Summit, 106; Kansas City, Mo., 300 city buses over the next 12 years, including replacement of two hybrid buses. UPS has 2,700 natural-gas trucks and has ordered 700 more.

It’s time for the city to take a long-range view, secure a long-term natural gas contract with a dedicated central fueling station and switch to natural-gas-powered city buses and trucks.


gccs14r 4 years, 8 months ago

The South Koreans have a better idea. They have an electric bus that charges inductively from a power source embedded in the road surface. They don't have to stop or connect any wires, and the onboard battery drives the bus in between charging sessions.

ABB has an electric bus that charges at selected bus stops, but it requires direct contact between the bus and the charger.

William Enick 4 years, 8 months ago

That...is just too logical....What elite Communist Country you from...

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

Electric bus vehicles burn the cleanest which seems to me would be the objective. The more demand for natural gas the more increase in price will follow. I don't believe natural gas supply is infinite.

Iran has a large supply but I am not interested in escalating the war over natural gas. I'm sure the letter writer also has no interest.

Centerville 4 years, 8 months ago

Americans have the best idea: promote an ecomony where everyone can work to purchase his/her own car so everyone can go where he/she wants, when he/she wants.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

with electric vehicles,bicycles and public transportation.

gccs14r 4 years, 8 months ago

Oooh, that's brilliant. Go to work to buy a car to go to work. I'd rather we spent the money on public transportation so we could go anywhere at any time and NOT have to bother with driving.

William Enick 4 years, 8 months ago

Yeah...but then we would have to relate to each other...we would have to develop alter ego's and probably listen to music by Johnny Rotten....

William Enick 4 years, 8 months ago

Yeah..but then we would have to relate to each other...we might develop alter ego"s and listen to music by Johnny Rotten....:)

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