The National Academies

TCRP C-08 [Completed]

A Framework for Evaluating Fuel Options for Transit Buses

  Project Data
Funds: $150,000
Research Agency: ARCADIS Geraghty & Miller (formerly Acurex Environmental Corporation)
Principal Investigator: Richard Remillard
Effective Date: 4/1/1996
Completion Date: 3/15/1998

The Federal Transit Administration has sponsored a number of alternative fuels projects over the past several years under the Clean Air Program. These projects have included compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, biodiesel, propane, self-contained electric, battery-powered, and other vehicles. Each transit system experimenting with alternative fuels has experienced various levels of ease or difficulty in implementation and operation. Although numerous alternative fuel projects have been completed or are currently underway, there has not been an attempt to synthesize all the available information into a guide to assist transit managers in the assessment, selection, and implementation of alternative fuel options for transit buses.

The objectives of this research were to develop (1) a guidebook to assist transit managers in the assessment, selection, and implementation of alternative fuel options for transit buses and (2) a spreadsheet-based computer tool to assist in the quantification of costs associated with the potential conversion to alternative fuels.

The audience for the guidebook and accompanying computer tool are transit-system managers who, while being quite knowledgeable about the transit industry, may not be familiar with alternative fuels and implementation issues. The guidebook and computer tool provide a resource for managers to use in responding to questions from the general public and governing board, and provide information for transit systems of various sizes and in various regions.

Status: The final guidebook and spreadsheet-based computer tool with User's Guide have been published as TCRP Report 38, "Guidebook for Evaluating, Selecting, and Implementing Fuel Choices for Transit Bus Operations". TCRP Report 38 is also available in portable document format (PDF). Double-click on the files below to access the report. (A free copy of Adobe Acrobat reader is available at https://www.adobe.com.) Note: Because the large size of these files, it may take more than an hour collectively to download. We regret the inconvenience.

Front Matter; Chapter 1: Introduction; Chapter 2: Diesel Fuel; Chapter 3: Compressed Natural Gas; Chapter 4: Liquefied Natural Gas; Chapter 5: Methanol; Chapter 6: Ethanol

Chapter 7: Liquefied Petroleum Gas; Chapter 8: Hybrid-Electric Propulsion; Chapter 9: Battery-Electric Propulsion; Chapter 10: Fuel Cells; Chapter 11: Biodiesel; Chapter 12: Market Assessment and Trends; Chapter 13: Selected Case studies; Chapter 14: Summary and Considerations for Evaluating Fuels and Vehicle Technologies

Appendix: FuelCost 1.0: User's Guide

FuelCost 1.0 Spreadsheet: Excel 5.0 (188 Kb)

10-Bus Example in Excel 5.0 (186 Kb)

50-Bus Example in Excel 5.0 (186 Kb)

200-Bus Example in Excel 5.0 (186 Kb)

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