A station offering compressed natural gas is now open in Little Rock. The alternative fuel is expected to save the city and public money.
Gov. Mike Beebe and city leaders came together for a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday. Afterward, there was a symbolic fueling of city vehicles at the station alongside Interstate 30 near 6th Street.
Officials with Little Rock's fleet services department say converting to CNG could result in a 40 percent reduction in fuel costs. Department Director Wendell Jones says it took a commitment from city board members, the state and private sector to make it a reality.
"We are opening up a station that will allow not only fleet vehicles, but public vehicles to come in, get natural gas, (create) savings possibly in their budget and also be a part of a movement where natural gas is becoming a part of our industry," Jones said.
The 24 hour a day station is visible from the interstate, which officials say provides easy access to national fleets and could help provide economic development.
Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola touted the economic benefit, while saying CNG is friendlier to the environment.
"I think it is one more indicator that the city is wanting to be in the forefront of how we can explore being a more sustainable community and a more sustainable planet," Stodola said. "The reduced emissions that come from CNG, just to quote a couple of facts, the gasoline gallon equivelent is $1.55, so it's not only smart money, but it is an economical way for us to move into the future."