Alliance AutoGas (AAG), a national coalition of businesses providing the fuel, technology, and ongoing support to autogas fleets across the country, and Northeast Tennessee Rural Public Transportation (NET Trans) recently received the 2020 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Award for their joint efforts in improving the air quality in Eastern TN.
NET Trans provides door to door, non-emergency transportation to anyone requesting a ride. Their vehicle fleet is equipped with wheelchair lifts and able to serve customers with disabilities throughout their footprint. The company is a not for profit, working as part of the First Tennessee Human Resource Agency, and serves numerous counties in the northeast region of Tennessee, along with urbanized areas outside the city limits for Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City. In 2016, NET Trans implemented an autogas program with AAG and continues to support the surrounding community with their fleet of autogas transit vans. This past September, NET Trans opened its third refueling center at the U-Haul location in Kingsport, TN. Candace Long, Director of NET Trans says, “We continue to see a need for our service, and autogas is helping us fulfill that need. Our region is seeing the benefit in fueling our transit vehicles with propane autogas.”
Autogas is the most widely used alternative fuel in world, with over 23 million drivers on the road globally. Its many benefits include the reduction of harmful tailpipe emissions such as CO2, greenhouse gases, and NOx, the cost savings per gallon vs gasoline or diesel, and in the U.S., the opportunity to use a domestic fuel. 99% of our nation’s propane autogas is produced in North America, meaning fleets that use the alternative fuel are also increasing American energy security. In addition, on average, autogas costs about 30% less at the pump than gasoline at any given time. Even during spikes in the price of crude oil, the relationship between the price of gasoline and autogas have held steady, keeping autogas as a viable solution for vehicle fleets wanting to make a positive environmental impact today.
The Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards recognize outstanding initiatives to improve the efficiency, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of transportation systems in the state. “We congratulate these winners who are on the cutting edge of possibilities in sustainability in transportation,” says David Salyers, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). “Their innovation and achievements come in many forms, but all share the goal of a better environment, and our state benefits from their example.”
NET Trans was additionally named the 2017 winner of the annual Propane Autogas Fleet Award from the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC). The award recognized NET Trans’ strong commitment and successful transition to propane use as a member of fleet transit. Jessica Johnson, Partner and Projects Liaison for AAG says, “Seeing what NET Trans has been able to do for their community in such a short time, is such an inspiration for other fleets who want to improve the air quality in their own communities. Cleaner air is made possible, one autogas vehicle at a time, and we are honored to be part of that process.”