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Eleven New CNG Buses Start Service for Nebraska Transit Authority

StarTran, the transit authority serving Lincoln, Nebraska, started serving area riders with 11 new buses fueled by CNG. The new buses replace 17-year-old diesel-fueled vehicles, and were purchased to achieve lower operating costs, improved mechanical reliability, and other benefits.

“Putting these buses on the street takes us significantly closer to the community’s goal of reducing the use of non-renewable fuels in City vehicles,” said Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler. “Clean, efficient CNG-fueled buses deliver the same number of people to their destinations with 20 percent less tailpipe greenhouse emissions.”

The recently-adopted Lincoln Environmental Action Plan includes a goal to reduce non-renewable fuel usage in City fleet operations by 50 percent by 2030. StarTran’s fleet includes 80 vehicles, and  by 2019, half of the fleet will use alternative fuel or propulsion.

The need to replace buses was identified in StarTran’s Transit Development Plan (TDP), which seeks to grow ridership and increase efficiency through route changes, additional service offerings, and better amenities. About $3.4 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) helped fund the replacement program.

“The partnerships that StarTran has been able to leverage to bring greater safety, reliability and efficiency for its riders and grow is a credit to the agency’s leadership” said Cathy Monroe, FTA Region 7 Planning Director. “As a matter of fact, StarTran was recently recognized for its forward-thinking initiative and commitment to not only applying for but securing competitive funding on the national scale.”

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