Buff Buses Burning Biodiesel

John Davis

buff_bus.jpgUniversity of Colorado officials have been experimenting with burning biodiesel in their campus mass transit system buses… the Buff Buses… and the results have been pretty “buff” in their own right.

This article in the school’s online newspaper, the Campuspress.com, says it has been out performing other “clean”… but still petroleum-based… fuels:

In 2003, students passed a referendum to increase student fees by 50 cents per semester for four years; a portion of this money was used to switch the Buff Buses to biodiesel.

“I think the big thing was the environmental impact,” said Bryan Flansburg, CU’s director of transportation.

Other transportation services in the Boulder area are experimenting with alternative fuels.

All buses run by Denver’s RTD now use ultra-low sulfur diesel. RTD has also been running a pilot program which is testing the efficiency of four hybrid buses.

“The intent was to see if the operating cost reduction offset the additional cost of purchasing the hybrid vehicles,” said Scott Reed, the RTD general manager of public affairs.

A regular RTD bus costs around $290,000, while the hybrid buses cost around $490,000.

“So far we have not seen the cost savings that would justify the additional expense,” Reed said.