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LAX Adds 30 Alt-Fuel Vehicles

Los Angeles International Airport is buying 30 alternative-fuel buses and trucks – 21 compressed natural-gas transit buses, three liquefied-petroleum-gas light- and medium-duty refuse trucks, and six LPG stakebed trucks.

The 21 buses will be purchased for $7,885,648 from North American Bus Industries. Reynolds Buick Pontiac GMC Trucks will provide the refuse trucks at $265,337 and the stakebed trucks at $383,228.

Los Angeles World Airports, the City department that owns and operates LAX and three other Southern California airports, plans to convert all of LAWA’s fleet to alternative-fuel use. LAWA has more than 500 alternative-fuel vehicles in its fleet powered by liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, compressed natural gas, electric, solar power and hydrogen fuel cell.

In other news, courtesy shuttles serving LAX must reduce the number of shuttle vehicles and trips they make to the airport (via Green Car Congress).

The new program calls for the reduction of the permitted number of trips made by hotel courtesy shuttles in two stages, using the number of trips in 2004 as a benchmark. By May 2007, the number of trips will have to be cut by 15 percent of their 2004 total. By January 2008, trips will have to be cut by 35 percent of the 2004 total. Penalties per trip will be assessed on each trip where the hotel fails to meet the required reduced percentage.

Additionally, courtesy shuttles serving the hotels must convert to alternative-fuel vehicles. Hotels are allowed to sign contracts with consolidators who provide shuttle service to patrons of more than one hotel.

Officials expect 39 of the 46 hotels in the LAX area will be affected by the program. The remaining seven hotels operate less than the minimum of 1,000 annual trips and are exempt from the program’s mandatory consolidation and penalties. These smaller hotels still will pay a standard fee per trip unless they reduce their trips by 35 percent and convert to alternative-fuel vehicles.

LAWA is requiring the mandatory program and setting penalties for non-compliance to ensure participating hotels are not at a competitive disadvantage. Hotel patrons using the consolidated courtesy shuttle service do not change vehicles or transfer luggage.

The mandatory hotel shuttle consolidation program implements a provision of the Community Benefits Agreement approved by the Board of Airport Commissioners. The agreement mandates that Fifty percent of all operator fleets must be converted to alternative fuel within five years and 100 percent within 10 years.

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