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Pennsylvania Transit Authority Transitioning to Natural Gas Buses

Amtran, the transit authority the serves Altoona, Pennsylvania, is transitioning to natural gas with an order for six new CNG buses. The Amtran Board of Directors recently voted to purchase six new, CNG buses for a total cost of almost $3 million. The funding comes from PennDOT and the Federal Transit Administration. The six CNG buses will be delivered in the spring of 2018 from American bus manufacturer Gillig’s all-new plant in northern California.

“This is a great opportunity for Amtran to move toward CNG-fueled buses,” said Congressman Bill Shuster, Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. “I was happy to support their federal grant application to help purchase new buses as part of this statewide CNG project.”

In March, PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards announced that the Trillium CNG team was selected for the department’s statewide Compressed Natural Gas Public-Private Partnership (P3) project.

Through the $84.5 million project, Trillium will design, build, finance, operate, and maintain CNG fueling stations for 29 public transit agencies, which includes Amtran, through a 20-year P3 agreement. Stations will be constructed over the next five years and Trillium will also make CNG-related upgrades to existing transit maintenance facilities. The project in Altoona is scheduled to be completed by summer of 2017.

PennDOT expects transit agencies could save more than $10 million annually statewide. After 10 years, the department estimates that the project will pay for itself with the estimated $100 million in savings.