Wheels are in motion for a public access Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station at River Valley Transit (RVT) at its 1500 West Third Street location. Last week, RVT hosted the CNG Focus Group meeting and announced its commitment to the project. RVT plans to add CNG to its diesel and gasoline fueling options and be online by May 2012. This year, they plan to purchase their first CNG bus, with plans to transition the fleet of 30 transit buses to CNG over 10 years. Besides RVT, this site serves as the multi-municipal fueling depot for Lycoming County, City of Williamsport, and surrounding non-profit organizations.
“This project makes sense for RVT, the City of Williamsport, Lycoming County, and the community-at-large,” said Bill Nichols, General Manager, RVT. “The RVT CNG Project is fiscally, environmentally, and socially responsible. It is the role of government to build infrastructure; which offers opportunity to private industry.”
RVT will develop fueling partnerships with municipalities and other local fleets and intends to seek a private partner to operate the retail aspect of CNG fueling for general consumers.
At the project kick-off meeting, project design, schedule, project budget, and CNG’s cost savings over diesel fuel were discussed. Following the discussion, the group went outside to visualize the project in the field. Interested stakeholders, project supporters, and city, county, state and federal government officials were in attendance and toured RVT’s facility; many wrote letters of support for inclusion in RVT’s AFIG (Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant) application to DEP’s Office of Energy and Technology Deployment. The AFIG program goal is to reduce the commonwealth’s dependence on imported oil as well as to improve air quality by reducing vehicle emissions. It fosters economic development in the commonwealth by encouraging innovative technology deployment and the use of alternative fuels, including CNG.
Aron Lantz, Larson Design Group, said, “This project is a really good fit for what DEP’s AFIG program is all about: deploying infrastructure in alternative fuels, fostering collaboration on a multi-municipal basis, opening up market development for CNG fueling by allowing the general public, including individuals and businesses the opportunity to use CNG; thus unlocking the market for CNG and spurring private investment in CNG vehicles and eventually more fueling stations once private demand in the region begins to ramp up.”
Mark Murawski, Transportation Planner, presented the position of the County on CNG Fueling at RVT and said, “The RVT CNG Project will be the hallmark in the Lycoming County Energy Plan.”
Gus Genetti, President of Genetti Hotel & Suites, plans to purchase new CNG company vehicles for his hotel and fuel at the CNG vehicle fueling station at the RVT depot. Genetti is a sincere advocate for natural gas fueling and has spent more than $12,000 for billboards supporting the cause. He believes natural gas is a smart, proud, and patriotic alternative to foreign oil.
The CNG Focus Group was created at Larson Design Group in Spring 2011 as a response to market direction in natural gas utilization. Its mission is to foster collaboration, learning, and action on CNG vehicle fueling & infrastructure as it relates to the Marcellus Shale in the North Central Pennsylvania region. For more information on the group and the RVT CNG Project, visit www.cngfocusgroup.com
Larson Design Group is a growing, multi-disciplined brand architecture, engineering, and surveying firm, providing innovative design solutions for the private and public sectors. Our staff has diverse knowledge in environmental systems, energy, surveying, site development, structures, transportation, and inspection. Headquartered in Williamsport, other offices include Selinsgrove, Bloomsburg, Lititz, and Bethel, Pennsylvania, and Corning, New York. LDG is ranked in the Top 500 Design Firms of 2011 by Engineering News Record (ENR), and in the Top 250 Firms by Architectural Record. These honors are awarded to A/E firms that demonstrate the highest levels of performance. LDG was selected for the third consecutive year into the 2011 PSMJ Circle of Excellence and was also ranked at No. 46 of Zweig White’s Top 150 Hot Firms for 2010. At LDG, each client’s vision is made real.