This makes Johannesburg one of the first cities in sub-Saharan Africa to run a fleet of CNG converted buses.
Johannesburg municipal bus operator Metrobus is leading the conversion charts in the public buses sector, having converted from diesel engines, as well as procured already gas-modified buses.
Metrobus runs on its converted diesel dual fuel (DDF) system whereby the engine runs on gas and diesel – both of which are injected into the cylinder at an electronically controlled ratio, to ensure best performance. These buses have been successfully operating since 2016 and are fuelled at CoJ’s own in-house filling station at the Braamfontein depot.
Metrobus covers 330 scheduled routes and 128 school routes, transporting thousands of passengers on a daily basis, which means that these buses consume a great amount of fuel daily.
CNG Holdings Group sales and marketing manager Wayne Williams notes the continuous increases in petrol prices have created a lot of uncertainty for the populace who rely on public transportation. However, the availability of natural gas as an alternative fuel source has relieved a significant amount of financial burden for a lot of public transport service providers and their committed commuters.
Therefore, he adds that CNG has been the ideal choice for high mileage vehicles such as buses.
“South Africa, however, has been in the back-end of the global revolution to find a cleaner, environmentally friendlier, and mostly, a more economical source of fuel in the public transport sector,” he points out.
CNG Holdings, through its natural gas distribution division NGV Gas, on realising the gap in the industry, has converted more than 1 200 taxis and an additional 300 fleet vehicles in Johannesburg to run on CNG. Also, CoJ has been involved on the conversion of over 100 utility vehicles used in the district.