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L.A. Welcomes New Clean Energy Buses

The city introduced 95 new natural gas-powered buses to the Commuter Express program.

As part of the continued effort to make Los Angeles "The Greenest City in the Nation", the L.A. Department of Transportation celebrated Wednesday the addition of 95 new natural gas powered buses to the Commuter Express fleet.


"These buses are brand new," said Jim Lefton, LADOT's Chief of Transit. "They're comfortable and they're clean fuel CNG buses, so they're helping to reduce traffic congestion. They're helping to clean the air as well."

The buses will replace the 95 older, diesel-powered buses in the fleet. With the replacement, the entire Commuter Express fleet is now powered by cleaner-burning compressed natural gas (CNG).

L.A. City Councilmember Jan Perry said the phasing out of old buses shows L.A.'s commitment to a greener city.

"Together, we are developing creative and environmentally sound ways of offering practical alternatives designed to get people out of their cars and onto mass transit," Perry said.

The 95 new buses cost the city $66,975,000, which breaks down to $705,000 per bus.

Councilmember Bill Rosendahl said the Commuter Express program is beneficial to most L.A. residents, since nearly every council district has at least one Commuter Express route.

"Angelenos have made it clear that they want transportation choices," Rosendahl said. "They don't want to have to jump in a car for every trip they make."

Speaking of choices, commuters have greater opportunity to combine different ways of travel. Each of the new buses has three, instead of the old two, bike racks.

"From a commuter's point of view, it beats driving," said Jim Lefton, LADOT's Chief of Transit.

Lefton himself has been a Commuter Express rider himself for 20 years. He said he is looking forward to the new buses and appreciates that instead of driving in traffic, he can write e-mails, make phone calls or just relax while riding the buses to and from work.

"You can use your time productively," he said.

The buses service multiple neighborhoods in the L.A. area, and allow commuters to travel to work in the downtown area. Each bus has a 49 passenger capacity, about 4 to 6 more seats per bus than the old fleet. The buses also feature reclining seats, individual reading lights and air flow control.

The buses will be introduced into service for the general public beginning Dec. 5.

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