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303 NEW RTD METHANOL BUSES BEGIN ARRIVING; FULL SHIPMENT EXPECTED BY MARCH 1993

 303 NEW RTD METHANOL BUSES BEGIN ARRIVING;
 FULL SHIPMENT EXPECTED BY MARCH 1993
 LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The first 37 of an eventual 303 brand-new methanol-powered RTD buses have arrived in Los Angeles and will roll into service starting Oct. 8 to serve RTD passengers while helping to clean the air.
 County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, a long-time champion of public transportation, joined RTD officials Oct. 5 at the District's Division 1 in downtown Los Angeles for the ceremonial fueling of some of the new arrivals and to praise RTD's continuing research into alternative fuels.
 "The methanol buses we're fueling up today are living proof that, where there's a will to help our environment, there's a way," Hahn said. "The 303 clean-burning buses RTD will receive are the fruits of a long period of research by dedicated district people. I salute them, and I salute the arrival of these buses."
 "State clean-air laws now make it impossible for us to buy another conventional diesel bus," said Marvin Holen, president of RTD's board of directors. "This delivery of methanol coaches represents a milestone in the ongoing quest to clean up our environment."
 The bulk of the new 43-seat buses will be divided between RTD's two downtown Los Angeles operating divisions, so far the only ones equipped with methanol fueling islands, said RTD General Manager Alan F. Pegg.
 "As we order more alternatively-fueled buses in the future, we will gradually convert more of our divisions' fueling facilities to be able to dispense those fuels," Pegg said. "Plans for methanol capability already are under way for Division 12 in Long Beach and Division 9 in El Monte."
 RTD placed the $72.3 million order for 303 methanol buses (an average of just under $238,500 per bus) following a two-year test of 30 methanol-powered buses, which at that time was the largest such test ever attempted in the world.
 In August 1991, RTD and other federal and state officials proclaimed the test a resounding success, and the district announced that it would begin purchasing only alternatively-fueled buses in the future as it continues to develop options.
 Test results showed that methanol-burning engines emit only a fourth of the particulate emissions of a diesel engine and that oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions, which contribute to the air's ozone layer, were cut by 65 percent.
 RTD technicians also were able to increase the efficiency of methanol engines during the two-year test. Methanol-powered buses average about 1.2 miles per gallon, compared to 3.2 miles per gallon in a diesel engine.
 "When we saw the test results, there was no question in our minds that methanol technology had arrived," said Holen. "We will continue our research into other alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas and electric fuel cells, but methanol is clearly our fuel of choice as of today."
 Eighty percent of the funding for the methanol buses was provided by the federal government; 20 percent was paid for with a combination of local funds.
 -0- 10/5/92
 /CONTACT: Greg Davy or Jim Smart, 213-972-4400, both of RTD/ CO: Rapid Transit District ST: California IN: SU:


LS-EH -- LA030 -- 6675 10/05/92 14:52 EDT
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Date:Oct 5, 1992
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