Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) director Ysela Llort announced at a press conference in July that the agency is looking into converting its 817-Metrobus fleet into compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles in the near future. Llort said that MDT is exploring numerous options for financing the move over the next several years.
The agency’s current plan is to purchase up to 300 new CNG buses to replace its diesel-based fleet in the next few years. No cost estimate was given for the purchase, but Llort did say that MDT is examining the possibility of a public-private partnership (P3) to fund the acquisition. The agency is expected to release an “intent to negotiate” package seeking proposals, but no timeline was given.
The announcement is part of a growing trend in public transit, as the American Public Transit Association estimates more than 35% of all public transportation buses in the U.S. are now using CNG and other alternate-fuel vehicles.
MDT’s Metrobuses carry an average of 200,000 riders daily during the week, as compared to MDT’s two elevated rail services.