By mid-2019, 21 natural gas buses will be added to the fleet of MIO (the integrated massive transportation system of the city of Cali). The entry into operation of these vehicles, a joint project between MIO, Gases de Occidente (GdO) and the company Blanco y Negro, puts the capital of Valle del Cauca at the forefront in the use of clean technologies in mass transit systems.
Bogotá, for example, will incorporate 740 CNG buses out of a total of 1,400, more than 50% of the fleet. Medellín, for its part, made the decision to migrate to clean technologies with natural gas since 2011, while Transcaribe is the cleanest transportation system in South America with more than 200 NGVs and with a successful operation since 2016.
In addition to MIO’s new natural gas bus fleet, there is also Tupal experience, in Palmira, where the public transport system operates with dedicated natural gas vehicles since 2015, thus contributing to the reduction of noise pollution and to the improvement of air quality.
“The joint vision that we must build to have a city with excellent air quality starts from the use of clean fuels such as natural gas and from following guidelines as established in the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution Policy of the Conpes Document 2018, which addressed strategic issues such as transport modernization, air pollution risk management, improving fuel quality with the reduction of sulfur content in diesel and gasoline and the stimulation of mass public transport with clean energies such as natural gas,” explained Mauricio Ramírez Terrassa, general manager of GdO.
Natural gas is one of the most important alternatives for mitigating public health problems associated with air pollution in cities such as Cali, where 9.5% of the total deaths are attributed to urban air pollution. The conditions are in place so that the MIO bidding documents adopt clean technologies, maximizing the number of vehicles that operate with natural gas. This advantage would give Cali the possibility of having a more efficient and cleaner transportation system.