Aspen Cleans Up Its Act - With Natural Gas
The Governor’s Energy Office has confirmed that one of the best known destinations in the Colorado Rockies has made the switch to domestic natural gas. At a ground breaking ceremony on April 14, the Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA) announced plans to purchase 22 fleet buses that will operate using compressed natural gas (CNG) instead of diesel.
The decision to go with CNG rather than diesel was driven by economics and the volatility of the price of diesel. For RFTA, the cost of diesel has risen 15% since January 1, 2012, while CNG averages about $2 dollars per gallon equivalent nationally.
This is especially significant because it demonstrates the breadth of interest nationwide in utilizing America’s domestic energy resources. The Roaring Fork Transit Authority is not located in a metropolitan setting. Its buses service the roof of the Rockies - from Glenwood Springs to Aspen.
“This is the first rural Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in the nation and the decision to fuel our buses on domestic natural gas is expected to save approximately $350,000 per year in fuel costs,” said RFTA CEO Dan Blankenship. “Fuel savings are expected to be even greater in the future, as we replace the remaining 65 diesel buses in our fleet with ones that operate on CNG. Natural gas is an abundant, domestically produced fuel source that will help RFTA become more energy independent, while contributing to the U.S. economy.”
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