Posted By RichC on September 5, 2005
Cincinnati Metro will operate its 390 buses on a blend of 30% biofuel and 70% regular diesel with this initial delivery. Biodiesel can be mixed with regular diesel fuel or can be used 100% in place of regular diesel. The percentage of biodiesel that Metro uses will change based on availability of regular diesel fuel.
Metro has arranged to purchase soybean-based diesel fuel, also called biodiesel, biofuel or soydiesel. The first delivery was made yesterday to fuel buses with biodiesel beginning today. The bus fleet uses about 10,000 gallons of diesel per day and Metro has the capacity to store enough fuel to operate the fleet for one week. Running out of fuel would jeopardize service.
Metro has recently been designated as a â€œblenderâ€ by the IRS, which means that Metro is permitted to mix biodiesel and regular diesel fuel in its own tanks and is eligible for a credit on the cost of the fuel.
The price of regular diesel fuel on the open market is around $2.30 per gallon; biodiesel cost is about $3, but Metro gets a almost $1 credit per gallon from the IRS due to Metroâ€™s blender status.
Metro was one of the first transit systems in the country to experiment with biodiesel, operating its buses several million miles on the alternative fuel. In 1993 and 1994, Metro participated in two successful national tests for soybean-based biodiesel. In 2000, Metro experimented with biodiesel made from recycled cooking oils from local restaurants. In 2001, Metro operated almost half its fleet on a soydiesel blend. All of the tests were funded throughspecial alternative fuels grants. Based on this experience, Metro has been pleased with the performance of the fuel in its buses.
More information is available at the Sorta website.