Tulsa Transit Authority will replace 38 diesel buses with CNG units

   The Tulsa Transit Authority was awarded more than USD 12 million in stimulus funding in order to replace 38 diesel buses with buses that run on compressed natural gas (CNG). In Tulsa more than 10.000 people ride the city's buses every day, but many of their buses need to be replaced.

   "The stimulus money couldn't have come at a better time," said Bill Cartwright of the Tulsa Transit Authority. "So it's really important that we do everything we can, with all fleets not just the transit fleets, but all corporate fleets, the city fleets, to reduce carbon emissions for not only the planet but for Tulsa," Cartwright said.

   Tulsa Transit is spending USD 415.000 on each large CNG bus. That's USD 60.000 more per bus than diesel buses. But officials hope spending more will save more in the long run. That's because CNG is so much cheaper than diesel. According to gas producers, right now CNG costs the equivalent of about USD 0.50 cents a gallon.

   The possibility of keeping the stimulus money in Oklahoma is part of the reason Tulsa Transit chose CNG. "A lot of those small companies are right here in Oklahoma so we're supporting them by going CNG," Cartwright said.

   Another option neither city chose to spend stimulus funding on is buying hybrid buses. It is the newest technology, but right now officials said those buses are just too expensive.