City considered for natural-gas bus fleet
Kamloops is one of six communities being considered for natural gas-fuelled buses.
Meribeth Burton, spokeswoman for B.C. Transit, said the Crown corporation has started the tendering process to create the province’s first-ever natural-gas fleet in 2014.
Other transit systems being considered include those in Greater Vancouver, Nanaimo, Whistler, Prince George and Kelowna.
Burton said plans are to choose one community by the end of the month after consultations with the municipal governments representing each transit system.
Burton said the decision was made last year after the provincial government unveiled its natural-gas strategic plan in May.
She noted compressed natural gas (CNG) production in B.C. is plentiful and provides a potential fuel-cost saving of between 20 and 30 per cent.
A fuelling station would be required and is estimated to cost about $2 million to construct.
The company would qualify for financial support through Fortis B.C. grants, but Burton said discussions are ongoing about the level of that assistance.
The tender for providing 25 CNG buses next year — and a possible 25 more in 2015 — closes on Feb. 15.
Submissions will be reviewed by a B.C. Transit committee.