You may have noticed the City-Suburban Transit Authority’s fleet of buses are all starting to grow humps on their roofs. It is nothing to be alarmed about, since it is all part of the CSTA’s conversion to compressed natural gas-powered buses, something that sounds like an especially good idea with increased CSTA ridership (due to escalating gas prices) and today’s sixth city-wide Ozone Action Day in a row.
After dozens of buses being in service for several months, the CSTA has finally issued a press release (reprinted in its entirety below) regarding the new cleaner buses:
“The City-Suburban Transit Authority has introduced new buses using cleaner burning compressed natural gas. The buses are manufactured under license by the Gleason Coach Company, from a Canadian design, at a factory across the state in St. Alban’s County. They cost approximately $500,000 each and are cleaner burning than the diesel buses they are gradually replacing.”
According to Monty Neville, local transit enthusiast and host of Bus World (monthly, on public access cable channel 114), the North Side and the Berman Gardens depots have totally converted to natural gas while the other twelve depots are slated to gradually convert over the next two years.
Neville told The City Desk, “These buses are the best thing [CSTA chief procurement officer] Hank Lamberty has ever brought into the bus fleet. They are much better than the buses with the water fountains he tried back in ’97. That was a mess, although it wasn’t as bad as the on-board vending machine fiasco of 1953. I can’t get into detail on that because of the lawsuit.”
– Hoyt Schermerhorn