With efforts  to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by 25%, the City of Johannesburg metropolitan municipality is driving its ‘green’ Metrobus fleet initiative.

Engineering News reported that the Muni  also aims to achieve an operational cost efficiency using gas at R7/ℓ for bus equivalents, and, over three phases, create more supply chain opportunities using its ‘green’ bus fleet.

City of Johannesburg green transport strategic support adviser Alex Bhiman said: “Around 2011, there were moves to usher in the transformation of Metrobuses to achieve operational efficiency. This, when it eventually took off, paralleled the increasing focus by the city on its role as a ‘world-class African city’ demonstrating leadership on environmental concerns, particularly the reduction of GHG emissions.”

Green house gas reduction initiative

According to Bhiman, the green Metrobus fleet project was preceded by an early study on alternative fuel power for the fleet, with a view to improving cost efficiency and operational savings, media reported.

To date, the municipality has converted 30 diesel-fulled buses and 150 newly procured buses into cleaner, greener modes of transport.

“The Metrobus Diesel Dual Fuel Technology (DDDFT) DDDFT initiative was also intended to complement, proactively, Phase 1C of the Rea Vaya public transport system project, which comprises three phases of procurement going forward: Phase 1A in 2018, a Phase 1B in 2020 and a Phase 1C in 2023,” Engineering News reported.

Bhiman added: “These supply chain opportunities will especially include those related to renewable gas with the potential to create enterprise development and employment, as well as an increase in the local content.”

Contributing to a cleaner environment

With a reduction of 25% in GHG emissions, he notes, the DDDFT programme will form part of the transport sector’s contribution to achieving the city’s target of a 42% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 and the Nationally Determined Contribution committed to at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP 21), in Paris, in 2015, media reported.

Bhiman highlights that the city’s roadmap under the present circumstances envisages a combination of alternative fuel power for public transport: dedicated CNG buses, CNbiogas buses, hydrogen fuel-cell buses and electric buses, media reported.

“Obviously, these technologies depend on the availability of the fuel and the supply, distribution and dispensing infrastructure necessary to meet the need for a public transport service that must be able to operate to deliver the service.”