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Title:Use of Alternative Fuels and Hybrid Vehicles by Small Urban and Rural Transit Systems
Authors:Jeremy Mattson
Publication Date:Apr 2012
Report #:DP-250
TRID #:01379150
Keywords:alternate fuels, benefit cost analysis, biodiesel fuels, compressed natural gas, ethanol, hybrid vehicles, propane, rural transit, transit operating agencies, urban transit
Type:Research Report – Department Publications



A survey was conducted of small urban and rural transit agencies regarding their use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles. Responses were received from 115 transit providers across the country, including 31 that use biodiesel, eight that use E85, 10 that use compressed natural gas (CNG), four that use propane, and 24 that own hybrid-electric vehicles. Larger agencies and those operating in urban areas tend to be more likely to adopt alternatives than smaller, rural providers. Improving public perception, reducing emissions, and reducing operating costs tend to be the greatest motivating factors for adopting these alternatives, in addition to political directives and incentives. Concerns about infrastructure development and costs, vehicle costs, maintenance, and fuel supply are the greatest deterrents to adoption. Those agencies that have adopted alternative fuels or hybrids have been mostly satisfied with their experience, but some problems were identified. An analysis of satisfaction with biodiesel indicates that agencies with a larger fleet size and those that have committed a larger percentage of their fleet to biodiesel have been more satisfied with the fuel. Findings provide useful information to transit operators considering adoption of alternative fuels and hybrids and to policy makers considering policies on alternative fuels and hybrids.

How to Cite

Mattson, Jeremy. Use of Alternative Fuels and Hybrid Vehicles by Small Urban and Rural Transit Systems, DP-250. North Dakota State University, Fargo: Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, 2012.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050