Colonial Airport Parking shuttle fleet sees big savings with propane conversion

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Colonial Airport Parkinghas cut fuel costs by 32 percent and bus maintenance costs by 28.4 percent after a conversion to propane fuel, the company announced.

“By choosing propane, we’ve reduced our carbon footprint, improved our operating efficiency, better served our customers and prevented local residents from breathing in a lot of unnecessary pollution,” said John Groden, operations manager for Colonial Airport Parking.

Colonial Airport Parking is part of Wilmington-based Colonial Parking and provides parking services at Philadelphia International Airport.

The company first purchased two shuttles equipped with a Roush CleanTech engine. Three years later, the company now operates eight propane shuttles. Two remaining gasoline buses will be replaced next year, making the fleet 100 percent propane-fueled.

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The airport shuttle operation applied for a grant through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which covered half of the incremental cost of the shuttles, although, according to Groden, even without the funding, the vehicles would have paid for themselves very quickly.

The company’s three-year-old shuttles “already have 140,000 miles on them, and have had no issues other than routine maintenance,” Groden said. “Our mechanic is astonished at how clean the oil is when our propane vehicles are due for service, and our drivers say that the propane vehicles function better than our gasoline vehicles, especially during cold winter months.”

The buses’ Roush CleanTech fuel system uses propane liquid injection, which “helps eliminate cold-start issues while obtaining the same horsepower and torque,” said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech.

About Colonial Airport Parking, Inc is an affiliate of Colonial Parking, Inc., which was founded in 1956 and is headquartered in Wilmington.

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