Biodiesel, Finally a Reality in Public Transportation in Mexico

Published: 8 Jan 2010

By David Olvera

With the consolidation of the first mixed company that will utilize biodiesel produced in Chiapas, a new era begins in the entity in transportation matter. Biodiesel for these vehicles is being obtained from a 10 thousand hectares Jatropha Curcas (also called pinion) plantation and manufactured in a 12 thousand liter-per-day biodiesel reactor.

Among the benefits of these new vehicles, the cost of public transportation in Chiapas will decrease MXP $0.50 (approximately USD $0.03) to reach a total cost of $MXP 4.00 (USD $0.30). Plus, there is a special price offered to senior citizens and students. The payment will be made through electronic cards that will have an active life of five years.

This type of public transportation will benefit 70,000 users in Tuxtla Gutierrez, capital city of the southern state of Chiapas, and will substitute 144 obsolete collective transportation vehicles.

With the popularly named "Conejo Bus" (Rabbit Bus), thousands of farmers that have reconverted their lands, passing from a self-consumption production – with a low or null profitability – to the production of highly profitable products, each hectare of Jatropha allows them to reforest and generate income for MXP $16,000 (approximately USD $1230.76) per year.

The vehicles come fitted with GPS and GPRS satellite monitoring systems, which will offer passengers an increase in their well-being. The new units will utilize a mixture of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent diesel (B20) for the first week of operation. In the second week, the mixture will be changed to 50 percent biodiesel, 50 percent diesel (B50), and in March it will be replaced by a 100 percent biodiesel fuel.

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