Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has added bi-fuel propane autogas systems to seven shuttle buses in its 10-vehicle RamSafe fleet, the university's Parking and Transportation division announced.
For the conversion project, VCU Parking and Transportation partnered with the Virginia Department of General Services; the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy; Alliance AutoGas; and Virginia Clean Cities. The conversion is projected to result in more than $20,000 in annual fuel cost savings, according to the department.
Five of the seven propane autogas shuttle buses operate on a Ford E-450 chassis, while the other two shuttles operate on a Ford E-350 chassis, said a VCU Parking and Transportation spokesperson.
VCU Parking and Transportation operates RamSafe as a point-to-point evening transportation service for students, faculty, and staff 365 days per year. The RamSafe fleet travels about 150,000 miles annually.
The requisition for the conversion was completed through a state contract with Alliance AutoGas, which also serves as the official propane provider, according to VCU Parking and Transportation. Virginia Clean Cities also worked with VCU Parking and Transportation to identify alternative-fuel incentives offered by the state.
Conversion costs will be reimbursed through a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant offered by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.