Updated: Jul 19
Two new buses that run on compressed natural gas recently joined Hazleton Public Transit's fleet as part of an effort that will reduce fueling costs when a new maintenance and storage facility opens later this year in Hazle Twp., an administrator said.
By Sam Galski Source Standard-Speaker, Hazleton, Pa. (TNS)
Jul. 13—HAZLETON — Two new buses that run on compressed natural gas recently joined Hazleton Public Transit's fleet as part of an effort that will reduce fueling costs when a new maintenance and storage facility opens later this year in Hazle Twp., an administrator said.
Two 2023 model CNG fueled Gillig buses that administrators recently unveiled will replace two older models that run on diesel fuel. The new vehicles bring the local transit agency's fixed-route fleet to 12 CNG buses, Public Transit Director Ralph Sharp said.
The fleet also includes two buses that run on diesel and a smaller vehicle that runs on gasoline, Sharp said.
HPT used state funds to buy the new CNG buses, which cost $569,365 each, Sharp said.
Vehicles that run on CNG emit fewer greenhouse gas emissions than diesel powered vehicles. CNG tends to be more affordable than diesel.
Sharp said HPT will begin realizing substantial savings in fuel costs when its bus storage facility opens across from Hazleton Regional Airport in the fall.
HPT rents a high-voltage tank system that pumps compressed natural gas into buses, but Sharp said that fueling costs will drop by almost half when the permanent fueling station opens.
HPT will pay $2.70 per gallon of CNG in the first two years when the fueling station opens. The price will fall to $2.60 per gallon in years three and four. By year five, transit officials will pay $2.40 per gallon of CNG.
"The cost of CNG will almost be half the cost of diesel," Sharp said.
The local agency intends to convert its entire fixed-route fleet to CNG by its 2024-25 fiscal year, he said.
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