Take a biogas bus for a silent and almost zero-emission ride

News 2019-11-20 at 12:25
Biogas bus in Jyväskylä, Finland. © City of Jyväskylä

The local transport in the Jyväskylä region in Finland has used environmentally-friendly low-emission biogas buses since July.

At the moment, the four gas cars run on lines 5 and 5K between the centre, Ylistönmäki, Viitaniemi, Kortepohja, and Mattilanniemi regions, serving particularly the students at the university, university of applied sciences, and vocational institutes.

Aiming for carbon-neutral public transport

Approximately a year ago, the Jyväskylä region public transport section accepted for the first time a competitive tendering process for public transport which required biogas-fuelled vehicles. The decision was an opening towards resource-smart operations and climate objectives. The lines put out for tendering, 5 and 5K, are the smallest of the contract areas, and they are used as an experiment to acquire usage and user experiences. The primary aim is to make the public transport in the Jyväskylä region carbon-neutral.

Jyväskylä as a forerunner

Not many gas buses are being used in Finland: now, they are only in operation in Vaasa, Helsinki, and Lappeenranta. Plans are being made elsewhere, as well.

Passengers will mostly notice being on a biogas-fuelled vehicle from the lower noise level of the car. They can also be happy with significantly lower emissions than a diesel bus. The new biogas buses are also equipped better than the previous ones, and their low-floor sections and info screens make them more modern.

The price of a biogas bus (excluding tax) is approximately 20.000 euros more than an ordinary diesel bus.  The use of a biogas bus will cost approximately as much as the use of a diesel bus, but the benefits come from the low emission level of the bus, and the motor of the vehicle remaining cleaner than a diesel bus, for example.

Buses running on organic waste

The biogas buses are refuelled at the biogas fuelling station opened in the yard of the Citymarket in Seppälä by Mustankorkea Oy this summer. The gas is brought there from the Mustankorkea’s biogas plant on the other side of the city, where this local fuel is made using the organic waste produced by the residents of the Jyväskylä region. Mustankorkea also utilises the stillage left over from the biogas manufacturing process in soil production, allowing the valuable nutrients contained in the organic waste to be recycled into nature.

“Biogas is an excellent example of circular economy, which also creates work and income for residents in the area. Organic waste is a significant raw material in our region, and it should be carefully collected. I wish everyone would remember to put their potato peels and coffee grounds in the biowaste container instead of the mixed waste container”, says Pirkko Melville, City of Jyväskylä Research and Development Manager.

Further information

Research and Development Manager Pirkko Melville, City of Jyväskylä, firstname.lastname@jkl.fi, tel. +358 (0)14 266 1593