San Diego MTS Orders 24 CNG-powered MCI D4500 Commuter Coaches

Motor Coach Industries (MCI), recently announced that San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has ordered 24 MCI D4500 Commuter Coaches powered by natural gas.

MTS is decreasing its fleet emissions with the purchase of CNG-powered MCI Commuter Coaches, which will replace 12-year old diesel intercity buses on commuter express routes operating between downtown San Diego and suburbs.

Offering comfort at highway speeds with proven reliability, the MCI Commuter Coach is the nation’s leading coach for long-distance commuter routes. Passengers enjoy forward-facing seating, overhead parcel racks and individual reading lights and air-flow controls at every seat. ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and Buy America complaint, MTS’ newest Commuter Coaches come equipped with wheelchair lifts and feature the newest safety technologies including three-point passenger seatbelts, back up cameras and onboard nine camera surveillance systems.

Each new coach is powered by the Low NOx Cummins ISX12N natural gas engine, certified to the California Air Resources Board, along with having 90% fewer NOx emissions than the current North American EPA standard.

A pioneer and proponent of clean fuels, San Diego’s MTS was the first public transit agency in California and the United States to move to a CNG fleet in early 2000s. Additionally, the agency uses renewable natural gas (RNG) to fuel its entire fleet of 40- and 60-foot fixed-route CNG buses. Fleets fueling with RNG can achieve near-zero carbon footprints.

MCI has been building CNG-powered Commuter Coaches since 1999, with hundreds of CNG MCI models currently operating in the fleets of agencies nationwide.

“We’re honored to add the CNG MCI Commuter Coach to the fleet of an environmental innovator like San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.” said Tom Wagner, MCI vice president of public sector. “In addition to cleaner mass transportation, these CNG-propelled Commuter Coaches will provide exceptional comfort to TSM’s ridership and reliable low total cost of operation for many years to come.”

MCI notes that public transit agencies have seen up to a 28% reduction in operating and maintenance costs with its CNG Commuter Coaches compared to diesel equivalents.

“This purchase is an important milestone for MTS as we will now be able to retire the last of our diesel buses,” said MTS CEO Paul Jablonski. “MTS operates one of the cleanest fleets in the United States and the agency has made significant contributions to reduce emissions for our region. This puts near zero emission buses on both of our premium Rapid Express freeway routes.”