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San Diego Transit To Buy 500 New Natural Gas Buses

An MTS bus on a San Diego street.
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Above: An MTS bus on a San Diego street.

The Metropolitan Transit System Board of Directors decided today to purchase more than 500 new buses, which will allow the agency to retire its fleet of older diesel-powered vehicles.

The low-floor, compressed natural gas-powered buses are scheduled to be purchased through 2017 with an estimated maximum cost of $343 million, according to the MTS.

About 50 of the 40-foot buses, made by Gillig LLC in the northern California city of Hayward, would be delivered next year.

The transit agency said almost 50 articulated 60-foot buses, manufactured by New Flyer of Winnipeg, Canada, are set for delivery in early 2014.

At the end of the contract, about 95 percent of MTS buses will run on CNG. Most of the diesel buses are nearing the end of their useful lives, according to the MTS, which operates more than 90 bus routes.

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