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Compressed Natural Gas station opens in Allentown to serve LANTA buses

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LANTA Executive Director Owen O'Neil and Board Chairwoman Cordelia Miller cut the ribbon dedicating the transit authority's new Compressed Natural Gas Fueling Facility. Sixteen CNG buses are currently housed and filled at LANTA's Allentown location. (Photo courtesy of LANTA)
LANTA Executive Director Owen O'Neil and Board Chairwoman Cordelia Miller cut the ribbon dedicating the transit authority's new Compressed Natural Gas Fueling Facility. Sixteen CNG buses are currently housed and filled at LANTA's Allentown location. (Photo courtesy of LANTA)

Pennsylvania's newest compressed natural gas fueling station has begun operations in Allentown.

The new station, which was developed through a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation partnership with The Lehigh Northampton Transportation Authority, UGI Utilties Inc. of Reading and Trilium CNG of Texas, is at 1060 Lehigh St.

It one of 29 CNG stations operating around the state.

With the availability of a compact natural gas fueling station. LANTA will eventually convert 76 buses to CNG. It estimates that it will save more than $750,000 annually based on the current cost of diesel.

LANTA now has 16 CNG buses in operation. It had been using temporary tanks provided by Trilium prior to the opening of the new CNG station. It intends to have a total of 34 in use by the end of 2019.

“This P3 [Public Private Partnership] CNG program continues to move forward and will make use of a Pennsylvania-generated fuel resource,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement. “The benefits include more efficiency, cleaner burning fuels and lower fuel costs for our transit agencies.”

Through the $84.5 million statewide P3 project, Trillium is designing, building, financing and will operate and maintain CNG fueling stations at 29 public transit agency sites through a 20-year P3 agreement.

Other stations will be constructed over the next five years, and Trillium is also making CNG-related upgrades to existing transit maintenance facilities.

PennDOT’s overall P3 plan is to make CNG fueling accessible to the public at six transit agency sites, with the option to add to sites in the future.

PennDOT will receive a 15 percent royalty, excluding taxes, for each gallon of fuel sold to the public at public sites, which will be used to support the cost of the project.

The Lehigh Street station is not one of the publicly accessible sites according to Chuck Genna, spokesman for LANTA. It will, however, be made available to other government agencies that may be interested in using it in the future.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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