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In 1994, 97% of fuel used in transit buses in the United States was petroleum-based diesel and gasoline, but by 2013 that number declined to 67%. The use of natural gas, including compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and propane, increased substantially during this time period. Twenty-three percent of transit bus fuel use was natural gas in 2013. Beginning in the mid-2000’s biodiesel, a diesel fuel based on vegetable oil or animal fat was also used in transit buses. Biodiesel is typically blended with petroleum-based diesel to create a blend such as B5 or B20. By 2013 about 9% of transit bus fuel use was biodiesel.

Transit Bus Fuel Use Shares, 1994-2013

Graphic showing transit bus fuel use shares from 1994 to 2013.

Notes:

  • The biodiesel category includes an unknown amount of petroleum-based diesel, as each transit agency may use different blends of fuel and report it as biodiesel.
  • Other fuels include bio/soy fuel, biodiesel (through 2006), hydrogen, methanol, ethanol, and various blends.

Fact #905 Dataset

Supporting Information

Transit Bus Fuel Use, 1994-2013
Calendar
Year
DieselGasolineNatural GasBiodieselElectricityOtherTotal Fuel Use
(Trillion Btu)
199496.7%0.3%0.7%0.0%1.3%1.0%81.1
199595.5%0.4%1.9%0.0%1.3%0.9%81.9
199695.8%0.3%2.2%0.0%0.9%0.9%83.7
199794.4%0.4%3.6%0.0%0.9%0.6%87.8
199893.1%0.3%5.4%0.0%0.8%0.4%90.4
199992.2%0.2%6.5%0.0%0.8%0.2%92.9
200090.7%0.2%8.3%0.0%0.8%0.1%97.1
200188.5%0.2%10.5%0.0%0.8%0.1%92.1
200285.1%0.2%13.7%0.0%0.8%0.1%91.1
200382.7%0.2%16.2%0.0%0.8%0.1%90.3
200481.2%0.2%17.5%0.0%0.7%0.3%94.0
200579.2%0.1%19.4%0.0%0.7%0.6%93.5
200675.0%0.3%21.4%2.6%0.6%0.1%99.2
200774.2%0.3%21.2%3.5%0.7%0.1%92.4
200871.8%0.5%21.4%5.5%0.7%0.1%95.3
200968.8%0.9%23.9%5.6%0.8%0.0%91.8
201069.3%1.2%22.5%6.3%0.8%0.0%87.2
201169.0%1.2%22.0%7.1%0.7%0.0%91.5
201267.9%1.7%21.7%8.0%0.7%0.0%89.7
201365.3%1.8%23.0%9.2%0.7%0.0%90.8

Source: American Public Transportation Association, 2015 Public Transportation Fact Book, Washington, DC, 2015, Table 59. Original units (gallons and kilowatt-hours) were converted to Btu using the appropriate energy content.

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