Mass Transit - 47

BEST PRACTICES

Deployment of
Hydrogen Fuel
Cell Buses

Clearly defining a goal, building a team
and illustrating the innovation are a few
of the suggestions laid out for agencies
exploring deployment of HFC buses.

By Kirt Conrad
CEO and Executive Director,
Stark Area Regional Transit Authority

* Illustrated the innovation. Honestly, buses, as a whole, are
not innovative; however, HFC's have changed that. We
demonstrated this by taking our HFC bus to the statehouse in
Columbus and invited state legislators to take a ride. During
this time, I demonstrated the HFC's "zero emission" moniker by drinking the water that had been emitted from the
tailpipe. It didn't taste like Evian; however, it was a great way
to illustrate the definition of "zero emission."
Our bus became a rolling classroom to bring our "Fueling
Our Future" energy education program to area middle schools.
The curriculum introduced seventh graders to alternative fuels,
the environmental impact of clean technologies, and career opportunities in renewable energy. This program has been funded
by grants from the FTA.
Recently, we developed the "Borrow a Bus" program. Since
its introduction, we have received interest from transit systems
across the U.S. and Canada. This spring, SARTA's HFC bus will
make appearances on Capitol Hill and to several transit agencies across the US. For information on this program, visit our
website www.sartaonline.com/sartas-borrow-a-bus-program.
So, when I'm asked, "How did you do it?" My response is
we had a goal and worked to achieve it. We did not set out to
become a leader in the HFC forum, we simply did it because
we could and we are grateful to be a driving force in the zero
emissions industry.

CANTON, OHIO * I've received many inquiries from transit

professionals and reporters about SARTA's drive to deploy one
of the largest fleets of Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) buses. I'm
routinely asked, "How did you do it? How did a small urban
transit agency in Ohio become a leader in the HFC forum?"
There is no simple answer; however, here's how we did it:
* Clearly defined goal and options for achieving it. Our goal
was to assemble a zero-emissions fleet that transitioned
from diesel, to diesel/electric, to Compressed Natural Gas
(CNG) vehicles. We soon realized, that CNG was not fulfilling our goal. As we learned about other alternative fuels,
it became apparent that the addition of HFCs to our fleet
would do just that.
* Secured the funding. Like many transit agencies, we didn't
have excess funds available to develop an HFC program.
That meant we had to search for and secure funding. At
the time, there were several competitive grants available,
we just needed to apply.
* Kept the public informed. Since we are a funded by tax payer
money, it was important to keep our community informed
on what we were doing, why we were doing it, and how it
was being funded. As a result, we received tremendous
support from the public, media and our community leaders.
* Built a team. To plan and launch the program we envisioned, we required assistance. Fortunately, we had many
partners that included CalStart, Center for Transportation & the Environment, Ballard, BAE, El Dorado, Toyota,
Cleveland State University, the Ohio State University, the
Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition, DOT, FTA, ODOT, the U.S. Department of Energy and other firms.

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APRIL/MAY 2019 | MassTransitmag.com | Mass Transit |

47


http://www.sartaonline.com/sartas-borrow-a-bus-program http://www.PalramAmericas.com/Rail http://www.MassTransitmag.com/10476530 http://www.MassTransitmag.com

Mass Transit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mass Transit

Ad Index
Editor's Notebook - Showing, as Well as Telling
People and Places
Transit as a Community Affair
U.S. Bus Fleets Report
Forming Paratransit Partnerships Through Alternative Methods
Rail Systems Get Powered Up
Operating a Self Driving City
Best Practices - Deployment of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses
Products - In Focus: Buses and Components
Classifieds
Social Hubs - Transit Post Highlights From Around the Web
Mass Transit - 1
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Mass Transit - Ad Index
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Mass Transit - Editor's Notebook - Showing, as Well as Telling
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Mass Transit - People and Places
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Mass Transit - Transit as a Community Affair
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Mass Transit - Best Practices - Deployment of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses
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