September 17, 2020. Today, the Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Administration announced the formal opening of service at one of the 24 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations planned as part of a Public Private Partnership (P3). Officials from PennDOT, Trillium CNG, and Monroe County Transit Authority (MCTA) marked the start of fueling at the facility at 134 MCTA Drive in Swiftwater, Monroe County.
“This innovative program continues to expand, helping transit agencies save on fuel costs and improve sustainability,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “These are important steps to keeping Pennsylvanians moving and improving quality of life.”
Through the $84.5 million statewide P3 project, Trillium is designing, building, financing, and will operate and maintain CNG fueling stations at 24 public transit agency sites through a 20-year P3 agreement. Other stations will be constructed over the next several years, and Trillium is also making CNG-related upgrades to existing transit maintenance facilities.
“PennDOT is excited to continue expanding this program, to help make transit agencies more sustainable, and create public benefits for years to come,” said PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation Jennie Granger. “Compressed natural gas provides a cost savings in comparison to diesel fuel, and it burns cleaner.”
Under the program, Monroe County Transit Authority will convert up to 42 vehicles to CNG, with some vehicles already in service. The authority estimates saving roughly $200,000 annually based on current diesel costs and their diesel usage of roughly 180,000 gallons per year.
PennDOT’s overall P3 project includes 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 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.
Using the P3 procurement mechanism allows PennDOT to install the fueling stations faster than if a traditional procurement mechanism were used for each site, resulting in significant estimated capital cost savings of more than $46 million.
When the project is completed, the fueling stations will supply gas to nearly 700 CNG buses at transit agencies across the state.