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Tulsa Transit District Opts for 100% CNG Fueling

The Tulsa, OK, Metropolitan Transit Authority is accelerating plans to replace all of its diesel-powered bus fleet with compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, and it has signed a contract with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. to design, build, operate and maintain a CNG fueling station.

Seal Beach, CA-based Clean Energy said the fueling station will open in September. It will be equipped with 39 time-fill posts and one fast-fill CNG dispenser. The station will be located at the transit authority's maintenance facility.

Tulsa Transit expects to add 35 CNG paratransit vehicles and 15 CNG buses to its fleet this year, replacing diesel models as they are retired, according to Clean Energy.

Compared to diesel, the CNG vehicles can eliminate what Clean Energy estimates are tons of emissions and lower the transit district's operating costs. Natural gas used in transportation produces 23% less greenhouse gas emissions in medium to heavy-duty vehicles, Clean Energy said.

Tulsa Transit currently operates 63 fixed-route buses and 49 paratransit vehicles in its 197-square-mile service area, including the city of Tulsa and several suburbs.

Clean Energy's Chief Marketing Officer James Harger said his firm is partnering with public transit agencies around the nation, noting that they currently represent more than 5,500 buses powered by natural gas.

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