Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

UNO Transportation Institute to Study Alternative Fuels for Capital Area Transit System

CATS Hires UNO Transportation Institute To Study Alternative FuelsThe Capital Area Transit System has commissioned the Merritt C. Baker Jr. University of New Orleans Transportation Institute to study alternative fuels.

The Capital Area Transit System (CATS) has commissioned a study by the Merritt C. Becker Jr. University of New Orleans Transportation Institute to study alternative fuels. CATS is the regional transit authority of the Baton Rouge metropolitan region.

The UNO Transportation Institute will conduct a comprehensive assessment of alternative fuels that will examine the pros and cons of a number of fuel sources including compressed national gas, liquefied natural gas, hydrogen, propane, bio-diesel and diesel-electric hybrid. These alternative fuels may be attractive because of their lower fuel costs and the federal incentives to buy and use greener vehicles due to their environmental benefits.

CATS plans to select the best alternative fuel based on key considerations such as the long-term economic benefits, environmental impacts and energy independence factor. CATS officials have said they will need to replace about 45 aging buses over the next four years. The study will help determine if the system should purchase buses that run on alternative fuels.

CATS operates 30 fixed routes and paratransit services for disabled passengers with 90 transit buses and vans.

"This study will provide CATS with options to become more environmentally responsible and economically cost-efficient in the short and long term," said John Renne, associate professor of planning and urban studies and director of the UNO Transportation Institute. "There are many options available to transit agencies but all of them require a substantial investment. Our project will help them make the most informed decision when choosing how they invest tax dollars."

According to Renne, the study is expected to be completed by December.


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