A public fueling station for compressed natural-gas vehicles, said to be the first of its kind in the greater Philadelphia region, opened in Bucks County last week.
California-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. built the station and will operate it. Clean Energy said it is leasing the site from Patch Management Inc., a road repair company that is converting its trucks to natural gas.
The station will serve a number of fleets, including transit buses managed by Bucks County Transit Management Association, shuttle buses operated by Bucks County Transport and garbage trucks operated by a local Waste Management Inc. center, according to the transit management association and PhillyBurbs.com.
Unlike a company refueling station, however, anyone with a natural-gas vehicle may fill up at the site.
The station is the region's first step "toward helping Pennsylvania achieve self-sufficiency," Bill Rickett, Bucks County TMA executive director, said in a statement.
Advocates of natural-gas vehicles, known as NGVs, hope Pennsylvania's cheap natural-gas supply from the Marcellus Shale will spur consumer interest in the vehicles, but the absence of fueling stations presents a major stumbling block.
The state's Act 13 natural-gas law provides incentives for vehicle fleets such as municipal buses to convert to natural gas. Fleet refueling stations can serve as starting points for creation of a statewide refueling network needed to make widespread private natural-gas vehicle ownership practical, proponents say.
The station was funded in part through a grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection's alternative fuels incentive program, Clean Energy said.