Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART)

FL: HART CNG Fueling Facility Grand Opening Ceremony to be Held April 24

Join HART in a Grand Opening Ceremony for its new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fueling Facility, as it becomes the first public transportation agency in Florida to convert from diesel fuel to CNG.

This April 24 ceremony will mark the first step towards transitioning HART vans and buses to a cost-effective alternative fuel that is clean, safe, more efficient, and American produced.

The new fueling facility will be equipped with four 300 hp compressors with four fast-fill CNG dispensers for buses, vans and other fleet vehicles, with room to add two more compressors as the entire HART fleet gradually transitions its entire fleet from diesel to CNG. The CNG facility project includes the construction of a CNG fueling station and modification of existing facilities and fuel lanes.

In April 2013, HART awarded Clean Energy Fuels Corp. a contract to design, build, operate and maintain the new CNG fueling station that will support the Authority's investment in a cleaner, domestic energy source. Clean Energy was also responsible for the CNG facility modifications. The new station, located at the HART Operations and Vehicle Maintenance facility, will support the agency's accelerated program to replace 100 percent of its diesel-powered bus, van and support truck fleets with clean, green, cost-efficient CNG models.

Over the coming weeks, the agency plans to deploy 28 new CNG vans replacing its current diesel-powered models. These vehicles will hit the road once the new CNG station goes live in April. Early next year, HART expects to add 22 new CNG buses to its fleet, replacing diesel models as they are retired from service next year.

By the end of 2015 we expect a total of 89 CNG vehicles in service at HART. While the estimated service life of a conventional diesel-fueled bus is 12 years if the engine is rebuilt approximately every five years, 80 percent of CNG buses operate for their full 12-year cycle without the need for engine rebuilding. Meanwhile, CNG vehicles produce fewer emissions and contain significantly less pollutants than gasoline and diesel.

Natural gas produces 30 to 40 percent less carbon dioxide (CO²), which is a greenhouse gas, and carbon monoxide (CO) is reduced by more than 90 percent. CNG engines are also much quieter, which will reduce noise pollution in the Tampa Bay Area.

"These new, clean-burning natural gas vehicles will allow people to continue to commute in comfort and at the same time improve our air quality," said Philip R. Hale, HART CEO. "Natural gas is available domestically and at this time, costs approximately 20 to 25 percent less than diesel."

The total investment of approximately $5.5 million came from a combination of $2,920,000 in federal and $2,580,000 in local matching funds.