On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, over 1,800 registrants attended the 17th Annual BusCon Conference and Exposition at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois. BusCon is the most extensive North American gathering of private- and public-sector decision-makers in the bus industry. Attendees predominantly came from the tour and charter services, public transit, limousine services, airport and ground transportation, and university-college sectors. While NGVAmerica did not exhibit, staff was present to support the NGV industry as well as members who were attending and exhibiting, including BAF Technologies, Clean Energy Fuels, Cummins Westport, Freightliner Custom Chassis, Freightliner Sprinter (Daimler, Chrysler, and Mercedes), General Motors, and Trillium CNG. Almost 60 buses, cutaways, and chassis were present on the 115,000 square foot exhibit floor. Vehicle Production Group (VPG) was the only exhibitor showcasing natural gas paratransit vehicles in the hall (an MV-1 CNG chassis and MV-1 CNG paratransit mobility vehicle). Many CNG-fueled taxis, including the MV-1, were taking show attendees to and from Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
NGVAmerica participated at BusCon as a sponsor between educational breakout sessions. Members’ Bill Boyce from Cummins Wetsport and Joanne Hayes from Clean Energy participated in a well-attended panel session called “Alternative Fuels, Making the Right Fuel Choice for Your Operation,” which discussed various fuel options available to the paratransit industry in addition to the infrastructure and maintenance costs involved.