Transit Officials Prepare For Transition To Compressed Natural Gas

Jul 14, 2015

File photo of current CATA buses in May 2015 at the downtown Little Rock transfer station.
Credit David Monteith / KUAR News

Central Arkansas Transit Authority unveiled its new compressed natural gas fueling station Tuesday, which is the first step in a plan to transition its entire fleet of  buses to CNG instead of diesel within the next 10 years. 

Jarod Varner, executive director of Central Arkansas Transit, in a file photo from May 2015.
Credit David Monteith / KUAR News

“It is helping us modernize out fleet. CNG is much more cost effective than diesel, it’s better for the environment, and through this project we’ve shown that there’s a strong partnership between both the public and private sector to fund important trends in infrastructure,” says Jarod Varner, executive director for Central Arkansas Transit Authority.

With the help of many partners including the cities of Little Rock, North Little Rock, Maumelle, and Pulaski County, CATA was able to fund the station.

The first 15 buses are arriving this month, but the station has the capacity to fuel up to 55 buses in an 8 hour period.

“Our next step as we continue to retire old buses and with the available funds to purchase new buses, we will purchase CNG buses,” Varner said.

Once the fleet is converted, it is expected to save CATA over $1.2 million annually.