May 16, 2014 at 11:36 am
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) The conversion from diesel to compressed natural gas for St. Cloud Metro Bus is now official.
Ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held today (Friday) for the transit operation's new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station on Franklin Avenue.
Local and state dignitaries were there, including Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who joined St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis in cutting the ribbon and fueling up the first bus with CNG. . She says, "to think that we are the first transit system in the country to do this shows just how cutting edge St. Cloud and this region are."
Metro Bus purchased 23 new buses that run on compressed natural gas. They were made by New Flyer Industries of St. Cloud. Klobuchar says the buses will run cleaner than those that run on diesel, and will run at a lower cost. The city expects to save an average of $300,000 annually over the first ten years in fueling expenses.
The project was funded by a $3.35 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, a $9.1 million Minnesota Department of Transportation grant and a local revenue bond.