Compressed Natural Gas Buses for AMTRAN

New buses now in service

Sunday, June 17, 2018 | Categories:

Amtran is moving to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) with six new buses entering service in June with another ten new CNG buses arriving in October.  There will be a ribbon-cutting and dedication on Monday, June 18 at Amtran’s Operations Center at 3301 Fifth Avenue, Altoona next to Mansion Park Stadium.  Amtran staff will demonstrate fueling a CNG bus at 8:30 a.m. with the ribbon-cutting at 9:00 a.m.

Statewide Public-Private Partnership

The project in Altoona is part of PennDOT’s statewide Compressed Natural Gas Public-Private Partnership (P3) project.

Through this $84.5 million project, Trillium, the private sector firm chosen by competitive procurement, will design, build, finance, operate, and maintain CNG fueling stations at 29 public transit agency sites (including Amtran) through a 20-year P3 agreement. 

Stations will be constructed over the next four years with PennDOT also making CNG-related upgrades to existing maintenance facilities.

The Altoona Project

At Amtran, there is a fueling station along with upgrades to the maintenance building to accommodate CNG buses.  (There will not be a public fueling option at Amtran at this time, but that could change in the future.)  The fueling station and garage modifications were completed earlier this year.  Locally, The EADS Group is working with Amtran and Trillium.

The bus purchase is part of a statewide procurement consortium.  The six CNG buses were built at American bus manufacturer Gillig’s all-new plant in northern California at a cost of $3 million.  The next ten new buses will arrive this fall.  The funding comes from PennDOT and the Federal Transit Administration.

Fuel Savings

PennDOT expects transit agencies to see significant savings due to the project.  Based on current CNG, diesel, and gasoline prices as well as fuel usage, agencies could save more than $10 million annually statewide.  After 10 years, the department estimates that the project will pay for itself with the estimated $100 million in savings.