The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) received an investment of more than $2.6 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) to assist in the conversion from diesel to compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling at the RTA Triskett District facility.
“This is great news, not just for RTA, but for the community. Now, the west side can be served with clean-burning natural gas buses,” said RTA CEO and GM Joe Calabrese. The east side Hayden Garage has had the capability to refuel CNG buses since 2015.
RTA also received news of a $400,000 grant from the Ohio EPA to help cover the $25,000 differential between the cost of a diesel bus and a CNG bus.
“We’d like thank our elected federal officials for their advocacy on our behalf. RTA now can save more than $200,000 over the life of each vehicle because we can fuel our buses with CNG, rather than diesel,” Calabrese said.
Regarding the grant from the Ohio EPA, Calabrese said, “RTA is grateful to state officials for awarding the Ohio EPA grant to RTA at the maximum allowed amount,” Calabrese said. The dollars will go toward the cost of 16 of RTA’s 33 new CNG buses currently on order. RTA plans to order another 27 CNG buses in 2019.
CNG buses make up 106 of RTA’s 453 total bus fleet.
Importantly, the U.S. DOT grant also calls for the Triskett District facility to serve as a CNG public fueling facility, so that other neighboring municipalities, other local government entities as well as private entities can utilize this facility to fuel its CNG vehicles, Calabrese said.
- Each CNG bus reduces annual emissions by 100 tons of Co2 equivalent per bus. RTA saved nearly 7,000 tons of emissions in the first year alone.
- CNG buses emit 30% fewer greenhouse gases, and that number is expected to improve by 2019, Calabrese said.
- RTA already removes 50,000 cars a day from the roadways in Northeast Ohio, reducing congestion, enhancing safety, and improving air quality.
- RTA has been credited for making Greater Cleveland one of the least congested cities in the nation.
“Now with this additional CNG fueling facility, RTA will be even more environmentally friendly,” Calabrese said, who added that construction is expected to start on the new CNG fueling facility in the fall of 2018.
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