The American Transportation Corp. (Amtran) says it has ordered six new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, to be delivered in May 2018.
The Amtran board of directors voted to purchase the natural gas buses on Oct. 19 for a total cost of almost $3 million, via funding from PennDOT and the Federal Transit Administration.
Congressman Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, expressed his support for the purchase: “This is a great opportunity for Amtran to move toward CNG-fueled buses. I was happy to support their federal grant application to help purchase new buses as part of this statewide CNG project. Amtran will finally be able to retire buses in their fleet that are more than 40 years old.”
In March, PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards announced that the Trillium CNG team was selected for the department’s statewide CNG Public-Private Partnership (P3) project.
Through the $84.5 million project, Trillium will design, build, finance, operate and maintain CNG fueling stations at 29 public transit agency sites (including Amtran) through a 20-year P3 agreement. Stations will be constructed over the next five years, and the firm will also make CNG-related upgrades to existing transit maintenance facilities.
As reported, there will be a fueling station and upgrades to Amtran’s maintenance building in Altoona to accommodate the CNG buses. The project in Altoona is scheduled to be completed by summer 2017. Further, Amtran says the six CNG buses will be delivered in spring 2018 from American bus manufacturer Gillig’s all-new plant in northern California.
PennDOT expects this project could save transit agencies more than $10 million annually statewide and pay for itself in 10 years, with the estimated $100 million in savings.