Small systems receive pressure to purchase under federal and state clean air and fuel programs. They have been vulnerable when using scarce resources to try out new technology in vehicles. Recent examples of biodiesel and hybrid technology have been very costly for small systems in rural areas with few fuel distribution options and skilled maintenance facilities. A guidance document may help to establish appropriate improvements in rural use of clean fuels and create more sustainable development of rural fuel distribution networks. Small urban and rural transit agencies can benefit from conversion to alternative fuel vehicles but often do not have the resources to design, implement and evaluate the costs and benefits to these practices. A guidance document with help to assess and plan this change with best practice examples is needed.
The object of this research is to create a set of tools to assist smaller transit agencies in designing, implementing, and analyzing the potential benefit of converting to an alternative fuel source. It will help small systems determine what staging of changeover is optimal for their circumstances.