By Andrew Littlefair on

Following a 2014 study of green initiatives, the City of Red Deer decided to move its bus fleet away from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas (CNG). The municipality chose CNG buses over all other bus alternatives due to their financial, operational, environmental, public health, and mobility benefits. This fleet transition included designing, building, and commissioning a new CNG fueling station, as well as renovating the city’s transit garage to facilitate servicing and indoor parking of the CNG buses.

Red Deer worked in conjunction with their consultants, Pura Energy and Jenmar Concepts, to source an experienced equipment supplier and maintenance provider for the CNG station that would provide the City with a high level of confidence that their CNG buses would roll out every day. Clean Energy was selected to supply the CNG station’s equipment and provide on-going training and maintenance services.

Out of a fleet of 62 conventional buses, 17 now run on CNG fuel, and the municipality will purchase an additional 10 CNG buses in 2018 as they replace their aging diesel buses.

“While change like this does come with a price tag, it is a step in the right direction as we plan for older buses to be replaced,” said George Penny, Transit Manager. “A phased-in approach enables us to make this transition to CNG buses over the next number of years with plans to grow the city’s green fleet.”

The City of Red Deer also has a fleet of 24 smaller buses for accessible transportation, five of which are currently running on CNG, that provide a valuable mobility service for seniors and clients with mobility issues.

“Since its opening in July 2017, the City of Red Deer’s CNG fueling station has been a great success. Not only is the station operating smoothly, the overall CNG initiative is saving the City of Red Deer fuel and operating costs while making a positive contribution to the region’s environmental initiatives,” said Clean Energy Regional Vice President – Sales, Mark Riley.

“The city took a big step forward reducing our carbon footprint with the introduction of CNG buses last year,” said Penny, “We are already realizing cost savings in fuel and maintenance operations by purchasing new CNG units.”

The City of Red Deer will continue to explore opportunities to procure additional CNG powered fleet units.