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Cherokee Area Transportation Service Director gives presentation on propane fueled buses at GTA Conference

Cherokee Area Transportation Service (CATS) Director Greg Powell gave a presentation on the county’s new propane fueled buses at Georgia Transit Association conference last week in Columbus, Georgia.

Powell’s presentation, “Propane Autogas – A Pathway to Lower Emissions and Operational Savings,” focused on cost-saving measures and the benefits of propane autogas for transit services.

“When I became director, my team and I started researching different green initiative fuels in an effort to cut down on costs for not only our operations but also keep costs down for the citizens of Cherokee County,” Powell said.

Last October, Cherokee County put the first propane-powered public transit buses in the state of Georgia in service. CATS purchased three propane-powered buses from Coach and Equipment Bus Sales, Inc. in February to replace aging buses in the fleet.

“We procured three propane buses for $307,553, the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) paid 85 percent, which brought the cost down to $46,132.95. AmeriGas also provided the county a discount, bringing our total to $31,132.95 that we have spent for the three buses,” said Powell. “This is compared to three of the gasoline vehicles, which cost $281,665.50 with an 80 percent FTA contribution, bringing the cost to $56,333.10. This gave our County a savings of $25,200.15.”

Conference attendees learned from several fleet managers about their experiences with new energy sources after transitioning from gasoline or diesel. A lifecycle analysis of the carbon emissions of two of the most prevalent alternative energy sources for vehicles and the future of clean transportation and how propane allows fleets to reach their sustainability goals.

“I hope that after leaving this presentation, fleet owners will have a more realistic idea of how to achieve environmental sustainability without risking their financial sustainability,” said Powell.

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