Customer Success Stories

DART Fuels a Greener Growing Dallas

Ten Year Savings $120M

Running Cleaner for the Community

Reducing GGE by 14,749 Metric Tons

Like Taking 3,045 Cars off the Road

Serving one of the country’s largest municipalities, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is no stranger to the challenges of supporting a growing community with public transportation. DART serves 1.2 million community members with over 40 million rides, covering over 39 million miles every year. In 2012, facing growing ridership and pressure to expand inner and outer city service routes, the DART team began exploring fueling solutions to support these demands as economically and sustainably as possible. According to President/Executive Director Gary Thomas, “We’re all about public transportation, but we’re also about saving energy.”

Weighing the Options

The DART team carefully evaluated numerous fueling options, including “clean diesel,” which offers neither significant greenhouse gas reduction nor fuel savings. They also tested diesel/electric hybrid buses but found they were expensive to purchase. Discovering they could reduce their fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 30% and save money with each fill-up made Clean Energy CNG the easy choice for an alternative fueling solution.

DART’s natural gas fueling investment will recognize savings of approximately $120 million over the next ten years.

The Clean Energy Advantage

With successful early results, DART eventually expanded their fleet into fueling with CNG. To help make the switch from diesel to CNG easier, Clean Energy’s in-house suite of engineering and construction specialists designed and built four fueling stations at DART’s bus operating facilities to support their fleet of over 675 transit and paratransit vehicles.

Like all large scale projects, the station construction project had its share of challenges. Underground obstructions, easement issues and contaminated soils were just a few of the issues facing the DART team. Facility modifications to accommodate and protect the new CNG fleet were also required. Despite these obstacles, DART and Clean Energy collaborated seamlessly to mitigate all project delays to finalize construction on-schedule and within budget.

Transitioning to natural gas fuel was just the beginning. DART has enjoyed a continued partnership with Clean Energy, including a maintenance agreement designed to protect and manage their fleet and station investment well into the future. That means DART can focus on its business objectives: providing the best public transportation possible for its community.

Fueling a Greener, Cleaner Dallas

The decision to migrate DART’s entire transit fleet to clean-burning CNG was based on two key factors: environmental and economic benefits. DART’s natural gas fueling investment will recognize savings of approximately $120 million over the next ten years.

The CNG-fueled fleet will also immediately impact the local environment. Consuming approximately 7 million gasoline gallon equivalents (GGEs) of CNG per year, the DART fleet will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 14,749 metric tons. That is approximately equivalent to removing 3,045 cars from Dallas community roads.

Another important benefit of this transition is that natural gas is a domestic resource. Diesel is often derived from imported oil, so an alternative fuel solution with natural gas means increased energy independence and more American jobs. “When DART buys diesel fuel, those revenues leave the region, where compressed natural gas is actually produced within the region,” noted Michael Morris, director of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

People who use public transportation know they’re contributing to a cleaner, safer community. And now residents of Dallas can enjoy the fact that their primary transit service, DART, is making things even better by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and operating within a new, cost-effective model. These widespread, short and long term benefits are what natural gas fuel is all about.