Allegan County Adopts Propane-Powered Transit Buses for Cleaner and Cost-Effective Commutes

ALLEGAN, Mich., August 31, 2023 – Allegan County Transportation has introduced a fleet of seven state-of-the-art buses, fueled by propane autogas, to enhance air quality and economize on public funds. These innovative vehicles, equipped with cutting-edge fuel systems by ROUSH CleanTech, mark a significant stride towards greener and more fiscally responsible transportation options.

Whitney Ehresman, the transportation manager of Allegan County, expressed eagerness for the integration of propane autogas technology. She remarked, “This month, Allegan County Transportation is embarking on the adoption of propane autogas for several compelling reasons, including the enhancement of air quality for all Allegan County residents and considerable financial savings.”

Propane autogas is renowned for its eco-friendly properties: being non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, and environmentally benign and causing no harm to groundwater or soil. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this fuel is classified as non-polluting. In contrast to conventional fuels, vehicles powered by propane autogas emit significantly fewer greenhouse gases, lower levels of nitrogen oxides, reduced carbon monoxide, and diminished particulate emissions. A recent study conducted by the Center of Alternative Fuels, Engines, and Emissions at West Virginia University found that propane buses can curtail nitrogen oxide emissions by as much as 96%.

Dan Wedge, who serves as the director of services for Allegan County, stressed that these fresh additions of propane-fueled vehicles, making up a significant segment of the county’s public transit fleet, have been introduced with the community’s welfare in mind. Wedge further elaborated, stating, “The Board of Commissioners has outlined a strategic blueprint that involves the continuous enhancement of transportation services throughout the entire county.”

By transitioning to propane autogas technology, the county anticipates substantial savings of around 50% on fuel costs and up to 70% on maintenance expenditures. Todd Mouw, the executive vice president of ROUSH CleanTech, the manufacturer behind this propane technology, highlighted the cost-efficiency and eco-friendliness of propane autogas. He noted that propane autogas is a preferred alternative due to its lower lifetime ownership costs, reduced maintenance overheads, and its role in helping fleets meet forthcoming emissions standards.

Allegan County Transportation’s propane buses surpass the Environmental Protection Agency’s current emissions standards by being 90% cleaner. This positions the county favorably for the forthcoming national emissions requirements slated for implementation in 2024 and 2027.

Dan Wedge summarized the advantages, stating, “Propane vehicles offer benefits for everyone. Citizens, maintenance personnel, drivers, and taxpayers — everyone emerges as a winner.”

The adoption of propane-powered transit vehicles mirrors a national trend, with over 1,500 such vehicles in operation across transit agencies nationwide. In Michigan alone, various cities, including Boyne City, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lapeer, and Saginaw, have embraced propane-powered transit vehicles, underscoring the growing movement towards cleaner and more economical transportation solutions.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *