More Tuscon Buses to Run on Biodiesel

John Davis

Over the next five years, Tuscon, Arizona will be buying more biodiesel buses for the city’s public transportation system.

This story from the Arizona Daily Star says Sun Tran, Tuscon’s bus system, is increasing the number of biodiesel buses… even as the green fuel already goes into a majority of the buses:

The transit system has a contract to expand its fleet of buses running on biodiesel, which already makes up about 56 percent of the buses on our streets. The other 44 percent of the buses run on CNG, said Michele Joseph, spokeswoman for Sun Tran.

Sun Tran plans to buy an additional 119 biodiesel buses over its five-year contract with bus manufacturer Gillig Corp. The buses are also capable of running on regular diesel, but Sun Tran does not use regular diesel in any of its buses.

Sun Tran uses B20 and B5 biodiesel blends in its 114 biodiesel buses.

The article points out that the new biodiesel buses are replacing an even cleaner-burning fuel, compressed natural gas (CNG). But the problem with CNG is that the city would need a new CNG fueling station… a costly proposition at this point. In addition, CNG-fueled buses have to refuel more often.