Fuel cell buses are a hit with Canton commuters

(Canton) - Stark Area Regional Transit Authority is on the verge of becoming the largest fuel-cell based bus system in the United States. 

Kirt Conrad, SARTA's CEO, says have 7 fuel cell buses in operation, and will add 5 more next year, plus they have 5 para-transit models on order. That would make for 17 fuel cell buses on their property. 

Fuel cells use hydrogen made from natural gas to power electric motors, with water as the only emission. Conrad says in the future it will be possible to extract hydrogen from water making H2O both the fuel and the end product. 

Conrad tells Newsradio WTAM 1100, fuel cell buses are a little more expensive that their diesel counterparts right now, but should reached parity in two years. He says riders love the new buses because they are far quieter and much more powerful, plus they don't pollute. 

Conrad reports, Cleveland RTA and other area transit systems have examined the new fleet, with the Central Midlands Transit Authority in Columbia, South Carolina, actually borrowing a SARTA bus for a test drive at no charge. He says SARTA has received inquiries from all across the country.

(Photos courtesy of SARTA)

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SARTA fuel cell bus

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