New compressed natural gas (CNG) BC Transit buses are set to roll into service as part of a full fleet replacement in Whistler. Buses have started to arrive in the community while the final commissioning work is completed on the CNG fueling and compressor station, and buses will be put into service in the coming weeks.
The CNG fueling station and new CNG buses are part of the almost $160 million in federal and provincial funding for BC Transit projects.
The natural gas for Whistler will be supplied by FortisBC. To help offset the initial costs associated with the purchase of the new CNG buses and upgrades to the facility, FortisBC will provide funding of $539,500.
The benefits of CNG technology are environmental and economic. Introducing CNG buses to communities in B.C. creates operational cost savings and reduces tailpipe emissions.
Clean Energy built the CNG fueling station in Whistler and will also maintain the new infrastructure. The project for the new compressor and fueling station, along with upgrades to the Whistler Transit Centre, was $3.2 million.
Each of the XN40 Xcelsior New Flyer buses can carry 36 seated passengers and 45 standing passengers. The purchase of the 25 new vehicles represents an investment of $17 million in the Whistler Transit System.
The successful CNG rollout in both Kamloops and Nanaimo sets an example for the rest of the province and country, demonstrating how best in class technology can be used to deliver dependable transportation solutions that contribute to a more sustainable future. The existing BC Transit fleet has 95 CNG buses.
Provincial, federal and local funding for Whistler also means the addition of improved technology, including:
- Real Time capability that will utilize automatic vehicle locators, allowing passengers to know exactly when their bus will arrive.
- Closed-circuit TV (CCTV) to improve the safety of passengers and drivers
- Automatic passenger counters, which will enable BC Transit to optimize service delivery based on informed data
For more information about the Whistler Transit System, please visit bctransit.com/whistler or call 604-932-4020.
Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
Congratulations to BC Transit and Whistler for delivering on our clean energy transportation infrastructure. It is a privilege to be working toward a low carbon economy and a clean energy future.
Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
I’m pleased to see BC Transit kickstart the conversion of Whistler’s bus fleet to compressed natural gas, a cleaner and more affordable alternative to diesel and gas. The Province is committed to greening transportation across the province, and we’ll continue to work with partners to do so.
Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, Resort Municipality of Whistler Mayor
Transit is a key priority for our community and across the Province, and it is initiatives like CNG buses that continue to move us toward improved transit service and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Thank you to the strong partnerships that came together to make this project happen for Whistler.
Manuel Achadinha, BC Transit’s President and Chief Executive Officer
This project is a result of partnerships with all three levels of government and FortisBC to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of transit in Whistler. I look forward to seeing the CNG buses on the road connecting people and communities in Whistler.
Sarah Smith, FortisBC’s Director of Natural Gas for Transportation
FortisBC has the low-carbon fuel supply today to meet the demands of tomorrow and offers incentives to switch to compressed natural gas through our government’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation. Since 2012, our incentive program has helped to convert over 700 vehicles to natural gas in B.C., displacing more than 67.5 million litres of diesel fuel and reducing GHG emissions by more than 74,000 tonnes.
Mark Riley, Regional Vice President of Sales at Clean Energy
We’re happy to partner with BC Transit on another fueling station here in Canada. As North America’s leading provider of natural gas fueling stations, we pride ourselves in meeting our customers’ design, construction and long-term maintenance needs.
Wayne Joseph, President of the Transit Bus Business at New Flyer
We are proud to provide Whistler with an environmentally sustainable, low-emission transit solution. New Flyer is committed to advancing innovation in public transportation, and to preserving the environment through improved technology and low-emission options. As a leader in sustainability, Whistler has set the standard to support its growth through low-emission transit, and to help the community to thrive as a four-season playground.
Communications, Resort Municipality of Whistler