One of SARTA's distinctive hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses will embark on the second leg of what is about to become the International Borrow a Bus tour on Wednesday, May 15. The bus will be trailered to Naperville, IL where it will be displayed at the Green Drives Conference and Expo before departing for appearances in Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, Canada before heading home to Canton.
SARTA CEO Kirt Conrad, who accompanied the state-of-the-art vehicle during an April trip to the Washington, D.C. area, said the Borrow a Bus program is achieving its goals of raising awareness about and generating support for hydrogen fuel cell-powered public transit. Pictures of the D.C. stop may be viewed on SARTA's Facebook page.
"In D.C. we had the opportunity to discuss the advantages of HFCs with officials from the U. S. Department of Energy, including Daniel Simmons, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO), and Alexandria, Virginia's DASH transit system," Conrad said. "They were universally impressed with the bus's range, performance, and quiet operation. Both METRO and DASH are preparing to increase their zero emissions fleet and now both systems are taking a serious look at HFC power as an option."
Mr. Conrad said transit officials weren't the only people impressed with the bright blue bus. "It drew lots of attention when it was parked in front of DOT headquarters, on the street in downtown Alexandria, and in service on DASH routes," he said. "People were attracted by its distinctive appearance, but they were really impressed when they learned how environmentally-friendly HFCs are. Across the nation and the world transit agencies are searching for clean, green alternative fuels. I believe HFC technology is the answer."
Mr. Conrad will deliver that message at a series of events being held in Borrow A Bus cities, beginning with the Green Drives Conference and Expo on May 15. He will also speak at the Renewable Fuel Symposium in Portland on May 20, and at the Impulse Summit for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in Vancouver on May 23. The HFC bus will also be placed in service by Seattle's King County Metro system on May 22. The tentative schedule for the BAB west coast swing follows. We will notify the media if any changes occur.
Wednesday, May 16
Green Drives Conference and Expo, Northern Illinois University Conference and Meeting Center, 1120 E Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563
Monday, May 20, 7 AM until 5 PM
Renewable Fuel Symposium, NW Natural, 220 Northwest 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR, 97209.
Wednesday, May 22 until 3 PM
In service on King County Metro routes. Bus will begin service from King County Metro Garage, 12119 East Marginal Way South, Tukwila, WA 98168.
Thursday, May 23
The Impulse Summit for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, Sheraton Vancouver Wall Center, 1088 Burrard St, Vancouver BC V6Z 2R9
40th Anniversary Event at Ballard Power Systems HQ, 4343 N Fraser Way, Burnaby, BC V5J 5K7, Canada.
Media avails and interview opportunities will be provided at each stop during the BAB West Coast/Canada tour. To schedule an interview please contact SARTA CEO Kirt Conrad at
330-477-2782 x522 or
Borrow A Bus program is being supported by El Dorado National, one of the leading bus manufactures in the U.S. and BAE which makes the propulsion system that drives SARTA's fuel cell buses. The companies will provide free technical support and fuel for the vehicles while on loan.
Canton, Ohio-based SARTA provides a compelling chapter in the fuel cell story. The relatively small public transit agency will soon have one the largest fleets of hydrogen fuel cell-powered in the U.S. outside of California and one the largest in the world. SARTA used a combination of state and federal grants to assemble a fleet of that will total 18 vehicles by the end of the year and build one of the largest hydrogen refueling stations in the US.
"What began as an effort to achieve our goal of operating an emissions-free transit system has evolved into a multi-faceted campaign to revolutionize private, commercial, and public transportation in the U.S. and across the world," Mr. Conrad said. "Education is a key component of that campaign and 'Borrow the Bus' will be a great educational tool."