Central Florida Buses to Run on Own Biodiesel

John Davis

lynxbus.jpgBuses in Central Florida will soon be running on a blend of their own biodiesel… a first in the country for any bus fleet.

According to this story in the Orlando Sentinel, a $2.5 million state grant is helping Lynx, Central Florida’s bus system, convert all 290 of its buses and four support vehicles to run on biodiesel in 2009:

It also will allow the agency to run a blending station that will serve the diesel fleets of Orange County and Orlando Utilities Commission. That partnership between agencies will be a national first, Lynx officials said.

“It’s what we want to do to do our part in the community,” said Lisa Darnall, chief operating officer for the bus agency.

The blending process, scheduled to start in early 2009, will produce a fuel that is 80 percent petroleum-based diesel and 20 percent from plant-derived oils. As a result, the three agencies will use 1.2 million gallons less of regular diesel annually.

About 800,000 of those diesel gallons would have been burned by Lynx, which operates mainly in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties with some service to Lake, Volusia and Polk.

Using less petroleum by burning the biodiesel in the tourist area’s buses will help Florida reach Gov. Charlie Crist’s goal of reducing production of greenhouse gases by government groups by 10 percent by 2012, as well as helping the county hit its goal of cutting fossil fuel use by 20 percent by 2010.