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Council may purchase new, cleaner buses

Posted: February 27, 2012 5:02 p.m.
Updated: February 27, 2012 5:02 p.m.

The Santa Clarita City Council is due to decide Tuesday night whether it will replace 10 aging buses that run on diesel with new buses that run on cleaner compressed natural gas.

The 10 buses would cost $4.84 million and replace buses that have been used for 12 years, Transit Manager Adrian Aguilar said Monday. The city still owns 21 diesel buses and is seeking to replace all of them with buses that run on compressed natural gas. The first 10 would be replaced this year and 11 would be replaced next year.

The compressed natural gas fuel would cost about a third less than diesel and burn more cleanly, Aguilar said.

The 40-foot-long buses would mostly be paid for using $3.88 million in federal funds allocated based on population, Aguilar said. The other $968,840 in funding would come from local tax money that is distributed to municipal operations.

While the city of Santa Clarita would normally have to issue a formal request for proposal to purchase the buses, the city is instead looking at approving an assignment agreement with the city of Fresno, which has already completed the request for proposal process, Aguilar said.

The request for proposal process can take three to six months, but the city of Santa Clarita will be able to avoid that if the City Council approves the contract already negotiated with the city of Fresno.

The delivery time for a bus is nine to 12 months because manufacturers do not start building them until they have a contract signed, Aguilar said.

The council meets in Council Chambers at Santa Clarita City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday.




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