Over 100 new (bio)gas buses in Lille
The Syndicat Mixte des Transports, Lille's local public transport authority, has increased the number of gas buses in the municipal bus fleet four times. The share of gas buses in the fleet is now (end of 2005) fifty percent.
The authority has gradually increased the use of biogas. 2006 the biogas share will rise substantially when the new plant for fermenting organic waste will be in full operation.
Recently, 13 percent of Lille's buses were gas-powered, most using natural gas and a few using biogas produced in the pilot facility at a sewage sludge treatment plant. The large-scale introduction of biogas buses is a result of the positive experience from the buses already in operation. 42 gas buses was already operating in Lille when Trendsetter started. Another 65 buses have been purchased from the manufacturer Irisbus within the framework of Trendsetter. Lille has also built a refuelling station where 150 buses can be refulled with natural gas and biogas. A similar facility will be introduced at the new biogas bus depot.
The Trendsetter budget co-financed:
- additional costs associated with 128 new biogas buses
- a new biogas compression station for safe and efficient biogas refuelling
- technical adaptation of the depots for the new (bio)gas buses and modification of certain bus lines (detectors, ventilation systems and lighting)
- a pre-study to summarise and evaluate to-date experience with the biogas bus fleet
The dual compression staion, using buth supplies of natural and biogas, allow to cope with eventual fluctuations in biogas production, still keeping a gas fuelling with the corresponding positive environmental impact in terms of emissions and greenhouse effect.
The total cost of operation per Km of biogas buses (with similar gas costs, which is a reality in Lille) is equivalent to that of fossil fuel operation, with of course an enourmous positive environmental impact. Costs-benefit for biogas is expected to further improve in the future. The fleet is in constant progress with the objective to become 100% gas buses (approx 400 buses) and corresponding biogas supply capability in 2015.
This measure was produced by the public transport authorities, Lille Metropolis and Syndicat Mixte des Transports.
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