FLEETFIX: City of Lake Charles, LA

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Pictured with one of two new Ford E-450 propane fueled cutaway para-transit buses is (L to R): Jeff Jones, Public Works Director; Patrick Ardoin, Fleet Superintendent; Rene Gibson, Maintenance Supervisor; Councilman Rodney Geyen, District C; and Al Hoover, Transit Manager.

Recently the city of Lake Charles, Louisiana has purchased two new propane Ford E-450 para-transit buses, continuing their commitment to improving local air quality. Having just visited Lake Charles for the first time this week, I see why they’re driven to preserve their beautiful city. From the beautiful waterfront to the lovely downtown area, Lake Charles is clearly worth taking action to preserve. With these new buses, Lake Charles is doing exactly that, continuing to grow its fleet of propane vehicles, which significantly reduce pollutants such as Carbon Monoxide – a gas which can be very harmful to public health.

Goal: “To reduce area ozone pollution and particulate matter in Lake Charles,” from Lake Charles’ ‘The Path Forward Action Plan.’

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Technology: Idle-reduction; propane (LPG) Ford E-450 para-transit buses; propane lawn mowers, forklifts, and fleet passenger trucks; and programs to encourage ride-share programs to reduce low-occupancy driving. They are also working to improve the energy management of buildings in Lake Charles to reduce energy use. (See the Action Plan for details.)

The fleet’s E-450 buses were purchased from Creative Bus Sales, who use ICOM and ROUSH systems in their conversions, among others. Propane fuel is provided to the fleet via Reladyne Pumpelly.

When it started: Lake Charles’ action plan was developed in July of 2013 and was created by the Southwest Louisiana Air Quality Task Force in order to improve the air quality in the greater Lake Charles area. The Southwest Louisiana Air Quality Task Force also works to improve public awareness and education regarding air quality, as well as to provide effective measurements of air quality improvement efforts.

Success and promising future: In 2017 alone, Lake Charles decreased its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 130 tons through fuel economy improvements and the use of propane vehicles and equipment. With their most recent purchase of propane-powered transit buses, it’s clear that Lake Charles will increase this number further and continue to greatly improve the air quality for the people living and working in the greater Lake Charles area for years to come.

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