Omnitrans, a public transit agency serving California’s San Bernardino Valley, recently celebrated the completion of new state-of-the-art compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling systems at its San Bernardino and Montclair facilities. According to a press release, the systems replaced liquefied natural gas (LNG) equipment used by the agency since 2002.
“This is a significant milestone in our commitment to be a good neighbor, a leader in clean fuel technology, and a good steward of public funds,” said Omnitrans CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham.
According to the release, the large LNG storage tanks used in the prior systems generated concern from area residents, and the switch to CNG is projected to save Omnitrans $1.6 million annually in fuel costs compared to LNG. The San Bernardino site includes three CNG compressors, and the Montclair site has two compressors. Combined, these meet the daily fleet demand of the CNG equivalent of about 10,000 gallons of gasoline, and each bus takes less than eight minutes to fuel.
“We applaud this demonstration of leadership in clean fuel technology,” said Rancho Cucamonga Council Member and Omnitrans Interim Board Vice Chair Sam Spagnolo. “We are proud of our 100 percent CNG fleet of 176 buses and the fact that we are transitioning our Access fleet to CNG. Together, we are making a difference in the fight for cleaner air in our region.”
Funding for the $8.5 million project came from the Federal Transit Administration, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and local funds.
Escondido, Calif.-based GP Strategies was responsible for final design and building of the CNG fueling systems, and STV developed conceptual designs. Southern California Gas Co. is the fuel supplier and provided coordination during design and the installation of new pipeline and gas meters.
System safety features include 24/7 local and remote monitoring systems, methane detection systems, automatic and manual emergency shutdown, fail safe isolation valves, and pressure relief devices. Daily inspections are done by trained Omnitrans staff. GP Strategies conducts weekly inspections.
Photo: Omnitrans CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham addresses crowd at the completion ceremony.