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Alternatively Fueled Vehicles - Public (Bus) Fleet

Alternatively Fueled Vehicles - Public (Bus) Fleet

The buses in Boulder are owned and operated by RTD and Via Mobility Services (HOP). Currently, RTD uses the buses fueled by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for the Stampede route and Via is using one biodiesel bus as a pilot for the HOP route. The city will coordinate with RTD and Via to develop a reasonable target (goal) for increasing the number of clean burning vehicles in the public fleet.

More specifically, the recommended programs/procedures and infrastructure improvements are listed below. These programs/procedures and infrastructure improvements will be implemented based on available funding.


  • Initiate a pilot project with Boulder County (i.e., Boulder County Transit Committee). Work to develop new requirements for Boulder County regarding air quality and alternatively fueled vehicles. Contract out bus service and develop own transit system run by the County using alternatively fueled vehicles.

  • Implement a demonstration or pilot project using alternatively fueled vehicles with Special Transit (similar to what was done with the HOP). Work with Via as a pilot organization to build credibility with alternatively fueled vehicles and demonstrate new approaches that other organizations, such as RTD, can implement in the future

  • Develop and implement a public information campaign targeted at increasing the use of AFVs by encouraging a shift in vehicle selection. Part of the reason that AFVs are not considered is the lack of information. Therefore, the city will promote and disseminate information regarding alternative fuel options to Via, RTD, the University, Boulder Valley School District (BVSD), and other relevant stakeholders.

  • Coordinate with the University of Colorado, Boulder to increase the number of alternatively fueled vehicles used by students and faculty. In the spring of 2003, the University initiated a pilot project to use a biodiesel fueled Buff Bus (known as the "Fried Ride"). Due to the success of the project, the program will expand this fall to move the entire diesel fueled Buff Buses to biodiesel (the rest of the buses run on compressed natural gas). The city will partner with the University to expand the use of biodiesel within the community. In addition, the city will partner with the University (specifically the Environmental Center) on a public information campaign targeted at students and faculty. For instance, the city can assist in providing information on AFVs as a viable option to graduating students who might be purchasing a car.

  • Partner with other organizations, like RTD, Via, Boulder Valley School District (BVSD), and the University, to purchase alternatively fueled vehicles and clean burning fuel in order to lower costs. This follows the principal that if the city fleet coordinator purchases AFV and clean burning fuel in partnership with RTD, Via, BVSD, and the University, than the cost should be reduced.

Infrastructure Improvements

  • Coordinate with Via and RTD to use more alternatively fueled buses. Participate in vehicle selections and specification development (i.e., influence standard vehicle specifications) in order to increase the likelihood that AFVs will be considered as a viable option to the more "traditional" buses.

  • Coordinate with other entities to develop long-term funding options for the infrastructure to support AFVs. To ensure that the infrastructure to support AFV is developed regionally, long-term funding alternatives may include joint contributions from other entities. Close coordination is necessary with the University, BVSD, RTD, Via, vehicle dealers and manufacturers, fuel providers, fueling stations, and other related businesses.

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