County of Lackawanna Transit System natural gas station starts next year

December 29, 2017. Starting next month, some local bus riders will get to and from work or shopping centers on buses that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) that costs less than diesel. By summer, the natural gas will come from a new CNG station at the County of Lackawanna Transit System’s headquarters off Keyser Avenue in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

   COLTS Executive Director Robert Fiume said three new buses and four new shared-ride buses, all fueled exclusively with natural gas, will arrive in January. The public buses cost about $540,000 each; the shared-ride buses cost about $90,000 each. Seven more CNG buses are due in June or July, he said. COLTS has 33 public buses and 32 shared-ride buses/vans.

   Federal and state money pays for the public buses, and the state pays all the costs of the shared-ride vehicles.

   Until the CNG station opens in June or July, COLTS will buy natural gas either from a company that provides portable tanks or one that already has a local fueling station.

   The COLTS facility will have one of the first six CNG stations open to the public. Fiume expects construction on its CNG station to begin in late April or early May and wrap up six to eight weeks later.