As part of a larger statewide project, the Westmoreland County Transit Authority (WCTA) in Pennsylvania has announced its intention to convert its entire bus fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG), according to a report from the Tribune-Review.
In its first step toward that goal, board members from the WCTA unanimously approved a contract with PennDOT to install CNG pumps at the agency’s Hempfield maintenance facility by this summer.
As previously reported, PennDOT recently announced an $84.5 million project with Salt Lake City-based Trillium CNG to convert 29 public transportation centers throughout Pennsylvania to natural gas fueling centers over the next five years. As such, PennDOT will pay to install the CNG station.
According to the report, the company expects to take about eight months to install equipment at the authority’s maintenance garage, and transit officials note that it will take about a decade to complete the full conversion of the entire fleet.
In total, 41 buses and 23 vehicles are slated to be replaced within the next year, while the remainder of the fleet, which operates on diesel, is scheduled for replacement over the next 10 years.
Further, the report notes that the authority’s paratransit service, which operates 40 small buses and vans, could be added to the CNG project in the future.