ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud Metro Bus is transitioning their fleet over to new, Compressed Natural Gas powered buses.

A new refueling station at the Metro Bus headquarters is online and spokesman Tom Cruikshank says the buses are being tested on the roads ahead of putting them on fixed routes.

Metro Bus spokesman Tony Kellen has said the CNG powered buses will save them about two-dollars a gallon compared to diesel-powered buses. That translates to a savings of about $500,000 the first 18 buses.

Kellen says they received a MnDOT Office of Transit grant to buy the first 10 CNG buses. St. Cloud bus manufacturer New Flyer is filling the order. The local match for the refueling station and safety improvements is about $838,000.

It will cost Metro Bus an additional $210,000 for the buses.  But, Kellen says the savings will quickly pay for the local costs.

The buses are expected to be serving Metro Bus customers in the next few weeks.

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony next Friday.