According to an article from the South Florida Business Journal, Karsan — one of the largest bus builders in Turkey — has joined forces with Nopetro, a Florida-based CNG fueling provider, to compete for two Miami-Dade County Request for Proposals (RFPs). One of the proposals, the article stated, is to manufacture 300 CNG buses, as well as the stations to fuel the transit vehicles. The other proposal is a CNG station to serve the County’s Public Works and Waste Management Department.
Karsan plans to invest $5 million to transform an existing building into a manufacturing facility in Miami in order to build the buses, if it is awarded the contract. The company has its sights set on building buses for other North American customers in the future. The initial order of buses would be sold to Miami-Dade County for an estimated $514,000 each. It would be only the second major bus manufacturing facility in the United States, the article noted.
The contract also calls for the successful proposing team to build a CNG station at each of the county’s three transit fueling stations. CNG fuel would be available for private vehicles, as well. Nopetro, one of the proposers, also has plans to capture methane emissions from the North Dade Landfill, which could then be used for CNG fueling.
CNG-fueled vehicles are something with which both Karsan and Nopetro have quite a bit of experience. Karsan has made more than 100,000 buses since it was founded in 1996, including an order of 550 buses that provide public transportation in Istanbul. The company also has operations in other parts of the world including Italy. Nopetro provides fueling services for Leon, St. Johns, and Charlotte counties, as well as for the Lynx transit system in Central Florida.
Two other team are currently competing for the contracts and County staff have expressed plans to reveal the rankings of the companies’ RFP responses within the next 90 days, before voting to award the contracts. The Miami-Dade CNG program is expected to be developed and built out over the next 10 years, saving literally millions of gallons of diesel fuel.
CNG fuel is about 60 percent less expensive than traditional diesel fuel and the emissions are about 90 percent lower. Other benefits of CNG include a longer lifespan of the vehicles and less noise involved with operating them. For more information about CNG fueling and maintenance facilities, contact us.