The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) in Canton, Ohio, has begun the process of switching part of its fleet of buses to compressed natural gas (CNG) with the arrival of nine Gillig 35 foot and 40 foot CNG buses fixed route buses. On May 18th, SARTA also opened its new 24/7 CNG fuelling facility. It is the only CNG station currently in Ohio outside of the Columbus area and is open to the public to purchase CNG via credit card (current price is $2.35 per gallon equivalent). Already it is being used by regional fleet and private vehicles.
SARTA Executive director Kirt Conrad informed NGV Global News that the station is equipped with two IMW 360 hpw compressors. There are two dispensers with the transit nozzle and two with the standard public nozzle. The station was built by Clean Energy.
The station was made possible by government grants: the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided $510,000; $1.2 million came from the Federal Transit Administration.
SARTA will shortly be receiving 13 CNG-powered Tesco paratransit buses. Its initial goal is to convert 50% of its fleet of 85 vehicles to natural gas by end 2013, to take advantage of low stable natural gas prices and domestic supply. “This change will be cleaner and greener by reducing over 80% of emissions and a more affordable, domestic option that will save SARTA up to 40% a year on fueling costs while taking advantage of local fueling sources.”
The new station was also selected by Westport as a refuelling point for its Westport WiNG powered bi-fuel Ford F-250 Super Duty truck tour of the Eastern States.