In August of 2014, King County Metro approached Solid Ground Transportation (SGT) with the notion to convert our ACCESS bus fleet to propane. We accepted that challenge due to some very compelling arguments: Propane is environmentally friendly, cost effective and reduces vehicle maintenance.
A year later, the first bus converted to propane arrived. By January 2016, a total of 20 buses had been converted. After routes were completed, SGT operators refueled with propane at Ferrell Gas, a few miles from base. This raised issues which led to the installation of a large station pump, eliminating the challenges of fueling offsite.
Accepting the propane conversion challenge included the construction of SGT’s own onsite Propane Fueling Station. With our landlords’ approval, countless phone calls, emails, bids, engineering designs and permitting, we finally broke ground on August 3, 2016. A heavy concrete pad was completed and the major pieces were put in place to be wired and piped together.
Construction at first seemed like a marathon that would never end, but with the support of Transportation Director Kari Ware, SGT Technicians, SGT Supervisors, Facilities Manager Gordon Pun and SGT staff, it became a reality. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for all of their advice, work and support. Our final stamp of approval is due within the next few weeks. Possibly by the end of the year, the entire SGT ACCESS bus fleet will be running on propane. We’ve come a long way from the original small blue vans of what was then known as Seattle Personal Transit!