Lebanon Transit, a public transportation agency in Lebanon County, Pa., recently celebrated the grand opening of a new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station.
Located at 200 Willow St. in Lebanon, the new facility, part of the state’s $84.5 million P3 project, is one of 29 CNG fueling stations planned as part of the public-private partnership.
Through the 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 several years, and Trillium is also making CNG-related upgrades to existing transit maintenance facilities.
Officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Trillium and Lebanon Transit gathered last week to celebrate the opening of the latest station.
Lebanon Transit will convert eight buses to CNG. The authority estimates saving roughly $50,000 annually based on current diesel costs and its diesel usage of roughly 35,000 gallons per year.
“Pennsylvania is now a leading producer of natural gas, and this initiative aims to take advantage of that new, cleaner-burning fuel source,” says Jennie Granger, PennDOT’s deputy secretary for multimodal. “PennDOT is excited to partner on this program that will bring benefits for the state, transit agencies and the public for years to come.”
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. (The Lebanon station does not offer public fueling.) PennDOT will receive a 15% royalty, excluding taxes, for each gallon of fuel sold to the public at public sites, used to support the cost of the project.
According to PennDOT, using the P3 procurement mechanism allows the agency 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.
“This innovative program is helping transit agencies save on fuel costs while allowing them to move to a cleaner-burning fuel,” says Gov. Tom Wolf, D-Pa. “These are important steps to helping us improve the quality of life across Pennsylvania.”