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San Diego MTS continues building clean air fleet with retirement of last diesel buses, adds more electric buses

Published by Mass Transit

Replacing the last diesel buses will be 24 Compressed Natural Gas express commuter buses built by Motor Coach Industries.

The last diesel buses have officially been retired from the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) fleet; the agency also added two more electric buses to its fleet.

“MTS retiring the last of its diesel buses from its fixed-route fleet is a monumental leap forward in air quality,” said Nathan Fletcher, MTS Board chair and chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “It represents our commitment to environmental justice, sustainability, air quality and to being one of the leaders nationally in achieving these ambitious environmental standards.”

Replacing the last diesel buses will be 24 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) express commuter buses built by Motor Coach Industries (MCI).

“Not only do the new MCI CNG buses offer an improved riding experience for our customers, but we also get substantially better air quality results from them as well,” said Sharon Cooney, MTS CEO. “There will be a 100-percent reduction in particulate matter and a 98-percent reduction in NOx emissions over the diesel counterparts.”

The new express commuter buses will offer 57 comfortable forward-facing seats, are designed for highway speeds and offer touring class comfort and safety. The vehicles will operate out of MTS’ East County Division in El Cajon, serving passengers on the Rapid Express 280 (Escondido-Downtown San Diego) and Rapid Express 290 (Rancho Bernardo-Downtown San Diego).

“For nearly three decades we’ve led the transition to CNG propulsion, having delivered nearly 14,000 CNG buses and coaches across North America. Today, we’re proud to support the San Diego MTS in achieving this low-emission milestone. With clean, safe and readily scalable technology, CNG emits significantly less nitrogen oxide than diesel engines – lending immediate impact on improving air quality,” said Chris Stoddart, president, New Flyer and MCI. “MTS has long pioneered sustainable mobility, having been the first agency in America to adopt CNG into its fleet nearly 20 years ago. Congratulations on yet another leap forward to cleaner air, sustainable transit, and more livable communities.”

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