Workers perform a soil check at the site of a CNG fueling station.
Photo credit: Greater Lafayette Public Transportation Corp.
CityBus is adding compressed natural gas (CNG) facilities in early spring 2015 — the first public transit agency in the state to do so.
The first phase of the project, scheduled to be completed April 1, includes installation of compressors, storage tanks, a dispenser and a canopy by Energy Systems Group at a cost of $3,270,407. Eighty percent of the funding is by Banc of America at 3.56 percent interest over 10 years.
In addition, six compressed natural gas buses are on order and due to deliver late March 2015. Using CNG buses will help cut fuel, maintenance and bus purchase expenses versus traditional diesel and diesel electric hybrid buses. A new diesel electric hybrid bus costs just over $600,000 while a new CNG bus is $470,000.
“We’re not having a lot of growth in our normal revenue streams,” Sennett said. “In order to keep the high levels of service our riders need and expect, we have to find savings. Fuel is one of our biggest costs so using CNG will provide savings while offering a more environmentally friendly alternative to diesel.”
First steps in Sennett’s CNG investigation began in 2012 and includes a study done by Purdue University professor, Wally Tyner, and his research team. Their report concluded that, even with the cost of building a fueling station, CNG will still provide significant savings.
Sennett projects a savings of $10 million over 10 years.
Phase two includes modifications to current facilities to accommodate proper maintenance and storage facilities and add appropriate monitoring systems.
“We’re thrilled to be at the forefront in our state with CNG and to get stated with this project,” Sennett said.