Last Friday, the mass transportation operator unveiled a filling station and launched its new fleet of compressed natural gas buses. The special ribbon-cutting event was attended by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar who stated: “This just shows how cutting edge St. Cloud and the region are.”
St. Cloud Metropolitan Transit Commission is also the first public transit system in Minnesota to operate a bus fleet fueled by natural gas. It owns a fleet of 67 vehicles and this year it replaces 23 fixed route buses with new 35-foot New Flyer Xcelsior CNG units, along with 6 CNG paratransit buses. Additional paratransit and fixed route buses will be added to the NGV fleet as they are replaced.
This project, which represents the most complex in the agency’s 55-year history, is funded by a $3.35 million U.S. Department of Transportation Clean Fuels grant, a $9.1 million Minnesota Department of Transportation grant and a local revenue bond. This investment includes $8 million for construction and renovation, and an additional $11.4 million for new buses.
Because of the lower cost of CNG compared to diesel, St. Cloud Metro Bus expects to save an average of $300,000 annually over the first 10 years in fueling expenses.
Source: St. Cloud Metro Bus