Lincoln adds 11 compressed natural gas StarTran buses to reduce emissions

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – City officials announced Tuesday that 11 new compressed natural gas buses have been added to StarTran routes in Lincoln.

According to the Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Department, compressed natural gas is a renewable fuel with lower greenhouse gas emissions compared with diesel.

Carla Cosier, assistant director of transit for StarTran, said the buses will be more comfortable for passengers during the 10,000 rides the city provides daily.

“We find them to be a smoother ride for our passengers, a little bit quieter,” she said. “And the compressed natural gas is an alternative fuel source, so it’s made up of renewable natural gas that we can find right here in the United States.”

The city’s Climate Action Plan includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

“We are actually building a CNG fueling station right here in our facility to help us accomplish that, to make sure we’re able to fuel our buses,” Cosier said.

She said in addition to the new CNG buses, the city already purchased 10 electric buses a few years ago.

There are currently 67 total StarTran buses in the fleet, with only 16 still running on diesel fuel.

Cosier said she expects those to be replaced by either CNG or electric buses by 2025.

“We are at just over 75% of our fixed route fleet at being that alternative fuel source, so we’re extremely proud of that number and the efforts we have made,” she said. “We’d like to eventually get our whole fleet to be that alternative fuel source.”

The buses were paid for with part of the $46 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds given to the city.

Each of the 11 CNG buses cost $587,609.76, according to officials.

That’s a total of $6.5 million.

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