ST. CLOUD - St. Cloud Metro Bus showed off one of its new compressed natural gas buses during the Sustainability Expo on Sunday.

Metro Bus is the first public transportation agency in Minnesota to operate a fleet of buses fueled by compressed natural gas. They currently have nine natural gas buses and plan to have a total of 23 by the end of this year.

Community outreach and training specialist with Metro Bus, Gil Williams, says compressed natural gas burns cleaner and is less expensive than diesel.

"Compressed natural gas is better for the environment-diesel emits 14 carbon into the environment and natural gas emits only 1 carbon footprint into the atmosphere," Williams says.

Metro Bus used a federal grant to design and engineer a refueling station for the buses in 2013. The buses will save about two-dolalrs a gallon compared to diesel-powered buses.

Williams adds that both Metro Bus and the City of St. Cloud benefit from the buses.

"Anytime you ride the bus you're helping the environment," Williams says, "the more people we can get to ride the bus-the better for the environment and of course, the better for St. Cloud and Metro Bus."


Dan DeBaun, WJON News