Central Florida Officials Strengthen Commitment to Sustainable Public Transportation
Nopetro, a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling infrastructure provider in the U.S. state of Florida, has finalised negotiations with Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) to build and operate a CNG fueling station, provide improvements to its maintenance facility, and convert the public bus fleet to CNG.
Nopetro’s public-private partnership (P3) with LYNX is the first step in the construction of a turnkey CNG fueling station and the generation of revenue from third-party customers. In addition to fueling LYNX’s bus fleet, Nopetro’s station would also be available to serve private commercial fleets and the public at large.
“Switching to CNG makes sense both financially and environmentally for Central Florida transit, and Nopetro’s collaboration made an easy choice even easier,” said John M. Lewis Jr., CEO of LYNX.
As part of the contract, Nopetro will build and operate a fueling station and make certain renovations and improvements to the adjacent maintenance facility to meet CNG-compliance standards. Under the terms of the public-private partnership, switching from diesel to CNG is expected to provide the agency with annual positive returns on its investment approximately three years from the scheduled completion, in the second half of 2015. LYNX will purchase and/or lease an initial 35 CNG buses and is projected to have more than 150 CNG buses within the next five years. The 150 CNG buses would represent half of its current pool of 300 diesel vehicles, resulting in a more fuel-diversified and environmentally friendly fleet.
“This partnership will positively impact the 30 million riders who utilize LYNX public transportation services each year, as they travel throughout Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Chair of the LYNX Board of Directors. “Converting our buses to run on CNG is part of our continuing efforts to improve operations through innovative technologies.”
Nopetro currently operates the nation’s first public-private partnership for CNG fueling – a similar P3 in the state’s capital, with the City of Tallahassee, Leon County and Leon County Schools. Nopetro’s facility has far surpassed expectations, exceeding initial projected usage by 300 percent.
“We are proud to work with LYNX and look forward to helping the agency continue to offer affordable public transportation services while creating a cleaner environment,” said Jorge Herrera, co-founder and CEO of Nopetro. “The switch from diesel to CNG will spur significant savings and position LYNX ahead of the curve across the country.”
Converting to CNG offers more than financial savings to local government agencies. Switching to CNG cuts emissions drastically, including particulate matter, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.
Outside Central Florida, other cities, counties and school districts are transitioning their fleets to CNG. Nopetro is working to finalize and implement CNG P3 projects with St. Johns County and Charlotte County Public Schools, to complement Nopetro’s existing facility in Leon County and growing network throughout the Southeast. Nopetro is also collaborating with Karsan, one of the world’s leading bus manufacturers, on an innovative multi-faceted proposal to convert Miami-Dade trucks and buses to CNG.