The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) and the City of Columbus are partnering to build a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station, adjacent to COTA’s McKinley bus operations and maintenance facility.

The fueling station will service City of Columbus vehicles, with additional access available to the public. It will share compression infrastructure with COTA’s existing CNG fueling station, built in 2013.

The station will include four fueling dispensers with eight hoses, and will primarily be used to fuel larger City of Columbus vehicles housed at a maintenance facility on McKinley Avenue. Construction is expected to begin in March and be completed by the end of the year.

“This project is an excellent example of a public-public partnership,” said COTA President/CEO W. Curtis Stitt. “COTA and the City are working together to maximize public resources by sharing the infrastructure needed to build and operate this CNG fueling station.”

The COTA Board of Trustees authorized a contract with R.W. Setterlin Building Company on Jan. 25 for the construction of the station. The City of Columbus will reimburse COTA for the costs of design and construction of the station. The entities will share the cost of a canopy and right-of-way work. The projected cost of the station, including engineering, construction management, and inspection fees, is $4.3 million.

COTA began phasing diesel-powered vehicles out of its fleet in 2013, and all new buses acquired are powered by CNG. COTA now operates 122 buses and five support vehicles powered by CNG. The transition of the entire fleet is expected to be complete by 2025. This commitment, based on both environmental and economic factors, will result in air quality improvements in central Ohio and a substantial reduction in fuel costs.

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