Thirty new methanol-powered buses will be added to the RTD fleet in Los Angeles this summer, doubling the number of such vehicles in use in the nation, transit officials said Monday.
"RTD is proud to be a leader in the field of testing alternative fuels as a viable way of improving air quality," said Southern California Rapid Transit District Board President Gordana Swanson.
The first of the new $164,000, 40-foot coaches was unveiled Monday, along with an identifying logo--a white cross within a circle to denote good health. Each bus seats 43 passengers and is equipped with a lift for the disabled.
Methanol, a colorless liquid with a faint alcohol odor, is made from natural gas and emits less smoke than diesel fuel. To achieve equivalent horsepower, however, twice as much methanol must be burned as diesel. RTD is buying methanol for 53 cents a gallon under a special program with the state.