The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday that HART is the recipient of a $2.3 million grant to fund a CNG fueling station and associated modifications to an existing HART maintenance facility. This is the first step for HART towards transitioning vans and buses from using diesel to CNG, which is cleaner and more efficient to use in public transit.
"Natural gas offers a cost-effective alternative to diesel fuel," said Philip Hale, HART Chief Executive Officer. "Natural gas is available domestically and at this time, costs approximately 20-25 percent less than diesel."
The preliminary project timeline includes design and construction through 2012, and an operational CNG fueling station in 2013.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Transit Administration (FTA), HART is one of 46 innovative clean-fuel transit projects nationwide that will share $112 million in funding from two FTA programs: the Clean Fuels Grant Program and the TIGGER III (Transit Investment in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction) Grant Program.
To view a summary of other HART capital projects underway, visit HART at Work.
Natural gas is a clear, odorless and non-corrosive gaseous mixture of hydro-carbons. Natural gas vehicles show an average reduction in ozone-forming emissions of 80 percent compared to gasoline vehicles, according to a report from the California Energy Commission. Many transit agencies nationwide are transitioning to CNG vehicles, including DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit), which plans over the next three years to deploy more than 650 new CNG buses and paratransit vehicles as replacements for its current fleet of buses that began service in 1998. In addition, LA Metro (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority) retired its last diesel bus in January 2011.