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CNG bus tryout in San Francisco

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  • CNG bus tryout in San Francisco

    Yesterday I spent a few minutes chatting with a local politician (candidate for SF Supervisor) who serves on a Transportation Board. Apparently a few years ago the City was all set to buy some natural gas buses but the ones they tested were unable to generate enough torque to climb the hills with a full load.

    Can anyone shed any light on this? Are there any other hilly cities that use natural gas buses? How does a city get a bus to test?

    Thanks

    Robert

  • #2
    Re: CNG bus tryout in San Francisco

    That sounds like the exact same issue that we had here in Utah. They tested some buses in the 90s, but the didn't have enough power at the time. They are running a new round of tests now with more powerful CNG buses. You can read the article here: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50...-utah.html.csp

    -Derek
    www.CNGUtah.com

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    • #3
      Re: CNG bus tryout in San Francisco

      I was part of TSI (Transportation Safety Institute - USDOT) team that was doing a presentation on Alternate Fuels Safey several years ago. SF Muni was also looking at Hydrogen as well as cng, but the problem was the same; how to deal with hills and the freeway. As I recall a bus that would handle San Francisco's hills would be maybe do 50 to 55 mph on the freeway and this was not acceptable. My suggestion was a 2 speed axle. At that point there was enough energy offsets because of SF's use of electric buses and cable cars that it was probably put on the shelf.

      Utah has an additional problem (as the article said) of altitude. With the newer engine technology that shouldn't be much of a problem -- go with a bigger engine and live with it. It does tend create more problems when a fleet has a wider range of equipment; technician train, parts, some driver getting a piece of equipment that is no suitable for a route, etc. These problems can be overcome with the right type of leadership.

      Hope this sheds a little light on the subject

      Larrycng

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      • #4
        Re: CNG bus tryout in San Francisco

        I have run heavy trucks in tennessee and we have hiiiiiiills the power problems I have had have always been with auto trans so simple to fix dont buy auto trans and before anyone says that wont work when I was akid all the transit buses we rode had straight shifts and that was in dc and the drivers always got us there a two speed axle is a good idea 5+2 or a 10 speed 13? lots of good trans combos out there if I remember right the buses were just straight 4 spds I have a 1947 greyhound built by gmc it has a 4spd with a 2 valve 671 160 horse power and it will run 74 and it is just a little week pulling off but that would be fixed with a 2 spd rear and just think of the fuel savings if everyone drove a straight stick remember the trans cooler that heat came from the fuel tank what a waste of fuel just because we in the us are to lazy to shift

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        • #5
          Re: CNG bus tryout in San Francisco

          Having run the maintenance for a18 bus charter fleet I didn’t like automatics at first. But considering the mentality of most bus driver, either they can’t get the hang of shifting or just don’t care about taking care of the equipment. In SF, I would recommend the automatic. Less money replacing burnt clutches, fewer “roll backs” into vehicles that get too close. Some people can’t get the hang of “heal and toe” or loading a clutch.
          As for the 2 speed you put it in high or low range depending on the route to which it assigned. As mentioned earlier I don’t trust bus drivers.
          Speaking of old refugees from Pontiac Michigan, that brings back memories, I think you are talking about and PD 3751 or 4151 with 4 on the “tree” We converted one into a motor home. 6-71 with 4 valve head, N 65 injectors, “A” time and N series pistons (18.7:1) With a 2350 rpm governor setting it would do over 80 - it had a higher gear rear end. Rode like a truck, but handled very well. A little slow in the hills, but we could get 8-9 mpg and pass a Trailways 01 eagle going across Nevada in the ’60.

          Larrycng

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          • #6
            Re: CNG bus tryout in San Francisco

            it is a3751 sounds like same rear as I am running 74 at 2150 200 rpm should be about 6 or 7 mph and the 4 on the tree shifts as good as the day it was built. it is truly a shame what this country cant do anymore like this bus there were about 500 built before the war and about 2000 built after the war from what I have read most of the pre war were scraped for the war but better than 1/2 of the post war 3751s are still around I have two one for each foot LOL it is a heck of a thought 60 years later 1/2 of anything is still around much less a lot of them are still running and driving bet in 60 years there wont be any 60 year old cars trucks or buses or much of anything else that is 60 might be some 120 year old things ie(buses) but no 60 year old stuff

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            • #7
              MUNI operates cable cars, twin conductor trolley buses, and single wire light rail trains. Power (and water) for San Francisco comes from Hetch Hetchy reservoir, located entirely within Yosemite National Park. Since electric motors have plenty of torque - and have gone 40 years before being replaced in the trolley buses according to the yard superintendent, MUNI would seem to have no carbon footprint at all (though they do operate diesel buses, too). There has never been a CNG station built at a MUNI bus yard, though the taxi and refuse companies have a choice of a handful of CNG stations between downtown SF and SFO (actually in a different city and county.)

              That experimental MUNI CNG bus from the earlier posts was seen parked in a truck sales lot in San Leandro CA in April 2017. Looked just like these new CNG buses AZ just bought:

              https://ngtnews.com/new-flyer-delive...s-city-phoenix


              CNG_MuniSanLeandro.jpg
              .

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              • #8
                I live in Phoenix and I thought all of our buses were CNG. I think they are beautiful units but I have yet to see any of them even remotely full.

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                • #9
                  May 12, 2017 by Rich Piellisch - Turkey s Karsan displayed a 42-foot CNG bus at the UTIP Global Transport Summit in Montreal. The vehicle is powered by the dedicated-natural gas 8.9-liter ISL G engine from Cummins Westport. Karsan is using Type IV CNG fuel cylinders from Luxfer. Karsan has completed certification and is in discussions to have it built by a U.S. manufacturer:

                  http://www.fleetsandfuels.com/fuels/...erica-cng-bus/
                  .

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                  • #10
                    Joseph Bebon for NGTNews Nov 7 2017 - New Flyer of America Inc. has announced that the Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority and the City of Phoenix Public Transit Department will be buying 199 Xcelsior compressed natural gas (CNG), forty-foot heavy-duty transit buses. The contract includes options for 197 additional buses over five years. The buses will be deployed on Valley Metro’s regional transit system as well as City of Phoenix routes starting in 2018:

                    https://ngtnews.com/valley-metro-cit...-396-cng-buses
                    .

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                    • #11
                      Joseph Bebon for NGTNews November 27, 2017 - Thurgood Marshall Airport recently put into service the first of 20 new buses that provide transportation between the passenger terminal and the airport’s consolidated rental car facility. The 60-foot, articulated, CNG powered buses will provide around-the-clock service at Baltimore/Washington International (BWI).

                      The $15 million purchase is funded through the Customer Facility Charge (CFC) fee on airport rental car transactions. About half of the new buses are in service and the remaining buses will be delivered to the airport and put into service before the end of the year. The new buses will replace a fleet of 40-foot, transit-style rental car shuttle buses that were manufactured in 2004.

                      Photos are of the same New Flyer bus touring Eugene Oregon in March of 2015, as an example of the long decision times necessary to land contracts like the one from BMI (Eugene never bought the buses - they are trying out hybrids that run on gasoline.)

                      https://ngtnews.com/bwi-marshall-air...News+Headlines


                      CNG_Flyer_Eug_LTD3.JPG CNG_Flyer_Eug_LTD2.JPG CNG_Flyer_Eug_LTD1.JPG
                      .

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                      • #12
                        I live in Phoenix and fill up at the same yard that most of the airport buses do. However, I was behind an articulated bus the other day that had a LPG sticker on the back--news to me.

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                        • #13
                          Rich Piellisch for Fleets&Fuels Nov 17, 2017 - A long-discussed idea to use overhead catenary lines to power trucks exiting Southern California s big ports is moving closer to fruition: Siemens reports that America s first eHighway demonstration is running, with three different heavy duty, electric-drive trucks hauling freight.

                          Los Angeles area s South Coast Air Quality Management District, is the primary backer of the $13.5 million project.

                          http://www.fleetsandfuels.com/fuels/...ifornia-ports/
                          .

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