Ideal Taxes Association

Raymond Richman       -       Jesse Richman       -       Howard Richman

 Richmans' Trade and Taxes Blog

Switching a city bus fleet to CNG is a no-brainer!
Howard Richman, 9/26/2013

When I travel to Philadelphia or Harrisburg from Western PA in my Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) pick-up truck, I stop at a Uni-Mart in State College PA which gets its CNG from the adjacent Centre Area Transit Authority's filling facility. City buses are the fastest growing sector of the growing CNG market. HE System Technologies expects that 12.7% of U.S. buses will be powered by CNG by 2018. 

The conversion of buses to CNG just got a shot in the arm. A cost-benefit analysis by Purdue University economists was just published in Energy Science & Engineering. It holds that the transit authority in Lafayette Indiana could save money by gradually replacing its diesel buses, as they wear out, with CNG buses.  The switch to CNG would also greatly reduce the particulate emissions that are breathed in by bus passengers and other residents.

Switching to CNG would cost the transit authority more initially, because it would have to construct a CNG filling station at a cost of about $2 million. Also, it would have to pay $450,000 for each new CNG bus, as compared to $400,000 for a diesel bus.

But if a bus system is big enough, the cost of a filling station would be more than recouped through lower fuel costs. The study predicts that the disparity between CNG and diesel prices will continue to grow over time. It calculates that disparity in 2012 as $1.50 for CNG compared to $3.19 per gallon diesel. It projects that by 2028, the price of CNG will have risen to about $2.75 and the price of diesel oil will have risen to about $6.60.

The Lafayette bus system has 73 buses that drive a total of 1.8 million miles per year. The study projects that it would save about $468,000 in present value over 15 years and about $2,923,000 in present value over 20 years by switching to CNG. For a larger bus system, with more buses using the filling station, the savings would be larger. For a smaller bus system, the switch might depend upon whether it could also get grants and/or sell CNG to private drivers.

After transit authority managers read the Purdue study, many will likely begin the switch of their buses to CNG. Doing so is really a "no-brainer." At the same time that they will be saving money, they will be improving the health of their passengers and reducing the air pollution in their community.   

Unfortunately, there is one group that is still resisting CNG, despite its positive effects upon transportation costs, upon health, and upon the environment. At this very moment, the bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency are suppressing carbon-reducing CNG conversions, even while they shut down coal-burning plants due to carbon emissions. 

Your Name:

Post a Comment:

  • Richmans' Blog    RSS
  • Our New Book - Balanced Trade
  • Buy Trading Away Our Future
  • Read Trading Away Our Future
  • Richmans' Commentaries
  • ITA Working Papers
  • ITA on Facebook
  • Contact Us

    Jan 2022
    Dec 2021
    Nov 2021
    Oct 2021
    Sep 2021
    May 2021
    Apr 2021
    Feb 2021
    Jan 2021
    Dec 2020
    Nov 2020
    Oct 2020
    Jul 2020
    Jun 2020
    May 2020
    Apr 2020
    Mar 2020
    Dec 2019
    Nov 2019
    Oct 2019
    Sep 2019
    Aug 2019
    Jun 2019
    May 2019
    Apr 2019
    Mar 2019
    Feb 2019
    Jan 2019
    Dec 2018
    Nov 2018
    Aug 2018
    Jul 2018
    Jun 2018
    May 2018
    Apr 2018
    Mar 2018
    Feb 2018
    Dec 2017
    Nov 2017
    Oct 2017
    Sep 2017
    Aug 2017
    Jul 2017
    Jun 2017
    May 2017
    Apr 2017
    Mar 2017
    Feb 2017
    Jan 2017
    Dec 2016
    Nov 2016
    Oct 2016
    Sep 2016
    Aug 2016
    Jul 2016
    Jun 2016
    May 2016
    Apr 2016
    Mar 2016
    Feb 2016
    Jan 2016
    Dec 2015
    Nov 2015
    Oct 2015
    Sep 2015
    Aug 2015
    Jul 2015
    Jun 2015
    May 2015
    Apr 2015
    Mar 2015
    Feb 2015
    Jan 2015
    Dec 2014
    Nov 2014
    Oct 2014
    Sep 2014
    Aug 2014
    Jul 2014
    Jun 2014
    May 2014
    Apr 2014
    Mar 2014
    Feb 2014
    Jan 2014
    Dec 2013
    Nov 2013
    Oct 2013
    Sep 2013

    August 2013
    July 2013
    June 2013
    May 2013
    April 2013
    March 2013
    February 2013
    January 2013
    December 2012
    November 2012
    October 2012
    September 2012
    August 2012
    July 2012
    June 2012
    May 2012
    April 2012
    March 2012
    February 2012
    January 2012
    December 2011
    November 2011
    October 2011
    September 2011
    August 2011
    July 2011
    June 2011
    May 2011
    April 2011
    March 2011
    February 2011
    January 2011
    December 2010
    November 2010
    October 2010
    September 2010
    August 2010
    July 2010
    June 2010
    May 2010
    April 2010
    March 2010
    February 2010
    January 2010

    Book Reviews
    Capital Gains Taxation
    Corporate Income Tax
    Consumption Taxes
    Economy - Long Term
    Economy - Short Term
    Environmental Regulation

    Last 100 Years
    Real Estate Taxation

    Outside Links:

  • American Economic Alert
  • American Jobs Alliance
  • Angry Bear Blog
  • Economy in Crisis
  • Econbrowser
  • Emmanuel Goldstein's Blog
  • Levy Economics Institute
  • McKeever Institute
  • Michael Pettis Blog
  • Naked Capitalism
  • Natural Born Conservative
  • Science & Public Policy Inst.
  • Votersway Blog
  • Watt's Up With That


  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

    Journal of Economic Literature:

  • [Trading Away Our Future] Examines the costs and benefits of U.S. trade and tax policies. Discusses why trade deficits matter; root of the trade deficit; the “ostrich” and “eagles” attitudes; how to balance trade; taxation of capital gains; the real estate tax; the corporate income tax; solving the low savings problem; how to protect one’s assets; and a program for a strong America....

    Atlantic Economic Journal:

  • In Trading Away Our Future   Richman ... advocates the immediate adoption of a set of public policy proposal designed to reduce the trade deficit and increase domestic savings.... the set of public policy proposals is a wake-up call... [February 17, 2009 review by T.H. Cate]