New Flyer XN40 2959
Location: Columbia Pike at Joyce Street, Arlington, VA
Operator of Vehicle: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Date of Photo: July 4, 2017
When compressed natural gas (CNG) buses made their entry in to US transit fleets, the buses were notable for the large hump on their tops. This hump was for the fuel tanks. Many agencies highlighted the fact these buses were running on compressed natural gas as opposed to diesel, and some even used special paint schemes on these buses to draw attention to that fact. This included WMATA’s first CNG buses, the New Flyer C40LF buses ordered in 2002. However, the fuel tanks on these must be replaced after 15 years, often resulting in the bus being retired at that time. As bus designs have evolved, the fuel tanks have been incorporated in to the bus design in less obvious ways and agencies have moved away from highlighting their CNG vehicles. As a result, there is little indication to most passengers boarding one of these newer buses that they are boarding a bus powered by CNG. As someone who enjoys seeing variety in bus fleets, I am sorry to see the special liveries for alternative fuel vehicles such as hybrid and CNG buses. That said, it is remarkable to see how new CNG buses, such as this New Flyer XN40 that replaced WMATA’s original C40LF buses, now look so much like their diesel counterparts. Do you like when alternative fuel vehicles get special paint schemes? Post your thoughts in the comments below!
For more photos of WMATA’s New Flyer XN40 buses, please click here.