Petersburg Area Transit (PAT) has been awarded $80,000 from the Virginia Department of Mineral, Mines and Energy (DMME) to support the advancement of alternative transportation bi-fuel technology. Under this large-scale initiative, public and private fleet vehicles are converted to propane autogas in order to reduce vehicle emissions and displace gasoline consumption. Bio- fuels supported under this program includes biodiesel, ethanol, propane autogas, compressed natural gas (CNG) and electricity. PAT will use the funds to convert fourteen of its vehicles with its vehicle fleet to cleaner burning propane.
“We are very proud of PAT and all that they are doing to help reduce emissions and help the City meet its goal of reducing our energy usage.” said William E. Johnson, III, City Manager.
Subsequently, PAT will reduce its carbon footprint and decrease its fuel costs by about 30%. PAT worked with Alliance Autogas/Blossman Gas on this opportunity, which has supported a variety of alternative fuel projects across the Commonwealth. PAT has also installed over fifty solar lights at bus stops throughout the City and has improved the maintenance facility located at 309 Fairgrounds Rd. with the installation of new energy efficient lights.
Another benefit of converting to propane is that the conversion to propane will reduce PAT’s fuel price per gallon from $1.65 to 74 cents per gallon. Dironna Moore Belton, General Manager of Transit and Fleet, states that converting the City’s transit and fleet vehicles to bio-fuel will help to reduce the City’s overall operational costs, substantially, over a short period of time.
DMME is supported on Alternative Fuels/Vehicles initiatives by Virginia Clean Cities (VCC) /James Madison University. The Clean Cities program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy in accordance with the Energy Policy Act of 1992, to reduce dependence on imported petroleum products, by promoting the use of alternative fuels and vehicles use in the transportation sector.
Alliance AutoGas - an integrated, nationwide partner network of propane retailers, equipment providers, and certified conversion centers – is providing all of the fleets in this Program with a comprehensive autogas vehicle conversion and fueling solution. Alliance AutoGas is founded by one of the nation's largest independent propane company, Blossman Gas, and alternative fuel systems specialists, American Alternative Fuel.