Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Director Liz Elliott today announced that Black Hills Energy has donated a $250,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station to StarTran. The CNG fueling station has been installed at Transit Division headquarters, 710 "J" Street, and will be used primarily to refuel StarTran's on-demand VANLNK fleet.
"We appreciate this generous CNG equipment donation from Black Hills Energy," Elliott said. "This on-site CNG fueling station will increase StarTran's efficiency by minimizing the time and fuel spent driving to our off-site fueling location."
The donation includes two natural gas compressors, three storage tanks, and other equipment. CNG and electric vehicles will make up 57 percent of StarTran's fleet by December. StarTran's current CNG fleet includes 27 buses, two trolleys, and 11 vans. StarTran has also invested in three additional CNG storage tanks for better capacity.
Each CNG vehicle minimizes environmental impacts by reducing greenhouse gas emissions while using domestic fuel. CNG vehicles also reduce noise, have lower maintenance costs, and have a positive impact on urban air quality.
"Black Hills Energy is proud to continue our long-term partnership supporting StarTran's efforts to utilize CNG," said Paul Cammack, Black Hills Energy program manager. "The CNG fueling station donation was made possible in large part due to a grant received in 2012 from the U.S. Department of Energy. When Black Hills Energy moved into a new building in south Lincoln last year, the fueling station needed to be relocated. Donating it to the City of Lincoln ensured that the City would continue to receive the environmental benefits for local natural gas vehicles."