• Jan 15th 2011 at 12:41PM
  • 16

It has taken nearly two decades for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA MTA) to replace its entire fleet of diesel buses with coaches that operate on alternative-fuel technologies, but on Wednesday, the MTA completed the transition when it retired its final diesel bus. Officially, LA's MTA is now the nation's only major transit agency with an entire fleet of buses equipped with alternative-fuel technologies.

Diesel buses began operating in Los Angeles County back in 1940. The last diesel coach to be retired – a 40-foot long New Flyer purchased in 1998 – logged 383,180 miles before being relieved of its duties. In 1995, LA's MTA took delivery of its first natural gas coach. Currently LA's MTA operates 2,221 CNG-fueled buses, six hybrid coaches and one electric bus. Transit officials estimate that the elimination of diesel-fueled coaches has reduced particulates by 80 percent and slashed CO2 emissions by nearly 300,000 pounds per day. Hat tip to Roy!

[Source: Los Angeles Times]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 8 Months Ago
      Don't throw away any old bus or truck or car, especialy public own apperatus.This bus only did 383 000 miles ?? lol. This is few for a professionnal public tool paid by taxs. All these stupid old products can be repaired and modified with few money to surpass epa emissions test by fitting gazeous free abondant hydrogen gas injection plus the old fuel to make a bi-fuel hydrogen diesel ice engine with few pollution and more power. Hydrogen injection act as a catalytic converter but into the combustion stroke instead of the costly actual catalytic converter that increase and complete the combustion after it's needed and don't add any more power. This is a steal of money done by epa and ford, gm, chrsler since 1973 approx when they decided to cash trillions dollars more profit by a simple price hack and a small war in middle east with 100 000 deaths approx and again by billions of tax money for missiles, airplanes, guntlets, etc.

      Don't buy anything from usa goverment, caterpillar, white-tractor-trailer-trucks, ford, gm, chrysler, detroit diesel, califormia goverment, autobloggreen, tesla, paypal, swiss banks until they retrofit without increasing the taxs old diesel polluting and under-powered public machineries. These state employees just want to spend public money for nothing and collect money under the table by selling for cheap these publics assets to friends and collect money under the table for any new expenditures or new studies given again to friends that activelly study since years and years how to construct and sale a green product. If these chaps didn't find anything since more then 40 years, then just get rid of these chaps and don't pay any more cents toward them like barack for exemple, LOL.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Those buses are probably not going to be crushed and recycled. Most buses from developed countries are sold to developing countries, so in a way they are not "retired", rather they are just not in LA. Good for LA, not so good for Mexico City and so on.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Except that it's probably replacing and older, dirtier bus in Mexico City. Might as well get as much use as possible out of it before it heads to the scrap heap.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Actually it may not be a developing country (depending on your view of course) that gets the bus, I know a bunch of LA's buses previously wound up in Chicago on which I rode them a few years back (turn of the century). It would be interesting to know where this last one goes.

        Nice to see LA transitioning to other fuels. The price of natural gas should be making the owners happy.
      • 8 Months Ago
      A breath of fresh air . . . literally.
      • 8 Months Ago
      The article from LAT states that the vehicle will be taken fully out of commission and sold for parts.
      • 8 Months Ago
      @ EV nerd Gene

      The only exhaust out of a modern TDI engine is CO2 and water vapor. There are no big cloud of soot. Modern clean diesel engines are just as clean as any regular clean gas engine car.
      harlanx6
      • 8 Months Ago
      Good! Leaves more good fuel for our TDIs.
      • 8 Months Ago
      And everyone always tells me that big trucks have to use DIEsel.

      If a big, heavy bus can use natural gas, then a big, heavy truck should be able to use natural gas or even gasoline.

      Both much cleaner burning than DIEsel, and always will be.
      (NOx, solid particulates both large and small, OK less sulfur compounds recently, and stinks to high heaven)

      They should put the exhaust pipe on the front of DIEsel vehicles to give them a dose of their own stink.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I'm aware of dual-fuel systems - those are not new, been around since the 1950's or possibly before - but that's not the way the natural-gas-fired buses are. They're running stoichiometric Otto cycle with spark ignition - complete with the throttling losses associated with that.
        • 8 Months Ago
        LA's changeover to natural gas pre-dated diesel particulate filters by quite a while. DPF-equipped diesels emit almost no particulates - low enough that being "cleaner" should no longer be a motivation to go away from diesel.

        Natural gas works well in urban situations. Just because natural gas can successfully operate a city bus, doesn't automatically mean it will be successful in a long-haul truck, though. Natural gas storage is much bulkier and heavier than liquid-fuel storage. For city buses, it usually is not a problem, because they don't travel very far from home base. (For example, 383,000 miles in 13 years is only 80 miles per day on average.) Urban delivery trucks are in a similar situation, but long-haul is a different story. Yes, if you have enough filling stations you can DO it, but stopping every couple hours for fuel adds time and therefore cost, and there are some areas that one has to occasionally travel through which don't have much in the way of natural-gas infrastructure.

        Natural gas fuel requires the engine to operate on a throttled spark-ignition Otto cycle, although it will accept quite high compression. Not as efficient as the unthrottled diesel cycle, though. The lower carbon content in the fuel will be somewhat offset by having lower thermal efficiency in the engine. Hypothetically running the engine in lean-burn mode results in high NOx emissions thus requiring exhaust aftertreatment ... there's no free lunch.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Brian, some of the new technologies 'dual fuel' natural gas in a diesel engine. The gas injected into the cylinder as normal, then a small amount of diesel is injection to start the combustion. You can replace but to 90% of the diesel energy with natural gas. These engines are standard diesels and can run on diesel if no natural gas is available.

        The same sort of thing can be used for slow speed diesels in shipping or power generation
      • 8 Months Ago
      @ Brian P and other DIEsel exhausters

      DPF clog. We should call them DPS (DIEsel Particulate Storage)
      When they clog every 300 or 3000 miles, they burn the soot accumulation in a big cloud of soot.
      So instead of emitting soot all the time, now they'll blow a big cloud only once every few days or months.
      Ooops sorry for burping my black cloud and farting my nauseous smells into the intersection folks.

      EGR - Exhaust Gas Recirculation is another method for reducing DIEsel emissions.
      Unfortunately, it greatly screws with the gas mileage, so DIEsels no longer have that advantage over gas vehicles.

      UREA injection - the next Rube Goldberg system added to DIEsels to make them more complex, cost more, more maintenance; and trade one nasty smell for another.
      Does that mean that we'll now have uric acid in the exhaust? Smelling like urine. Great

      Face it. When you start with a nastier fuel, you'll end up with a nastier exhaust.
      Garbage In -> Garbage Out
        • 8 Months Ago
        DPF filters do not let out any soot during regeneration. EGR systems that are correctly designed do not affect fuel consumption adversely.

        While it's true that *some* exhaust-treatment systems have had major adverse effects on fuel consumption, and *some* of them have been extremely problematic, the *properly designed* systems have minimal effect on engine operation. My dad has a 2011 VW Golf TDI with all the exhaust aftertreatment, I have a 2006 Jetta TDI which pre-dates all of that, fuel consumption is the same between the two of them - and his has a lot more power.

        It's quite clear that you've already made up your mind. What I've stated above, is what it is. Some minds are open. Other minds are closed. Just sayin...
      • 8 Months Ago
      @ fastalan Only CO2 and water vapor?
      I think you have DIEsels confused with a fuel cell running on high purity hydrogen and air. And even that one has some NOx.

      http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/dieselexhaust/index.html

      http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/hesis/Documents/diesel.pdf

      You and the people following you will love this one:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgvSp-RaUuw

      upchuck
      • 8 Months Ago
      Sweet. Nothing I hate more cycling than getting stuck behind a Diesel bus.

      Zion National park cut traffic years ago and only allowed CNG busses to bring people in.
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