Recently, a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station opened up in Meadville, Pa., as part of a planned public-private partnership (P3) in the state.
On May 2, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Trillium and the Crawford Area Transit Authority marked the start of fueling at the facility, located at 13227 Dunham Rd.
Through the $84.5 million statewide P3 project, Trillium is designing, building and financing and will operate and maintain CNG fueling stations at 29 public transit agency sites through a 20-year agreement. Other stations will be constructed over the next five years, and Trillium is also making CNG-related upgrades to existing transit maintenance facilities.
In conjunction with the Meadville project, the Crawford Area Transit Authority is converting five full-size buses to CNG. The authority estimates saving more than $50,000 annually based on current diesel costs and the buses’ diesel usage of roughly 40,000 gallons per year.
“This latest CNG fueling station represents continued progress for our innovative P3 program,” says Gov. Tom Wolf, D-Pa. “The benefits include more efficiency, cleaner-burning fuels and lower fuel costs for our transit agencies.”
PennDOT’s overall P3 project includes CNG fueling accessible to the public at six transit agency sites, with the option to add to sites in the future. PennDOT will receive a 15% royalty, excluding taxes, for each gallon of fuel sold to the public at public sites. The royalties will be used to support the cost of the project.
According to a press release from the Wolf administration, using the P3 procurement mechanism allows PennDOT to install the fueling stations faster than if a traditional procurement mechanism were used for each site – resulting in significant estimated capital cost-savings of more than $46 million.
Stations have already opened at the following locations:
- Cambria County Transportation Authority, Johnstown Facility (includes public fueling)
- Mid Mon Valley Transportation Authority
- Central Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, York Facility (includes public fueling)
- Cambria County Transportation Authority, Ebensburg Facility
- Westmoreland County Transportation Authority
- Centre Area Transportation Authority
- Beaver County Transit Agency
- Crawford Area Transportation Authority
- New Castle Area Transportation Authority (includes public fueling)
- County of Lebanon Transportation Authority
- Altoona Metro Transit
- Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, Allentown Facility
Other agencies participating in the P3 project, in order of construction-start timeline, are as follows:
- County of Lackawanna Transportation System (2018) (includes public fueling)
- Central Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Gettysburg Facility (2018)
- Butler Transportation Authority (2018)
- Indiana County Transportation Authority (2018) (includes public fueling)
- Erie Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2019) (includes public fueling)
- Mercer County Regional Council of Governments (2019)
- Fayette Area Coordinated Transportation System (2019)
- Monroe County Transportation Authority (2019)
- Area Transportation Authority of North Central PA, Bradford Facility (2019)
- Area Transportation Authority of North Central PA, Johnsonburg Facility (2019)
- Area Transportation Authority of North Central PA, DuBois Facility (2020)
- Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, Easton Facility (2021)
- Luzerne County Transportation Authority (2021)
- Schuylkill Transportation System (2021)
- Transit Authority of Warren County (2021)
- Capital Area Transit (2021)
- Port Authority of Allegheny County (2021)
When the project is completed, the fueling stations will supply gas to more than 1,600 CNG buses at transit agencies across the state.