COMMERCE, CA - The City of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting grand opening celebration for its new CNG/LNG fueling station on August 5. That station will be used to fuel the city's fleet of natural gas vehicles, including seven full-size transit buses, four paratransit vans, and two smaller fleet vehicles. In addition, it will service LNG port trucks and will be open to the general public 24 hours per day.

Claude McFerguson, acting director, City of Commerce Transportation Department, hosted the event. He stated that the City first introduced CNG transit vehicles last year and previously, the closest natural gas fueling station had been in the neighboring city of Bellflower.

Mayor Tina Baca Del Rio made opening remarks for the ceremony and introduced the city council members and other representatives present. She said other agencies and companies with fleets who needed natural gas fuel can now fuel up at the City of Commerce fueling station.

Other speakers included representatives of government, community, and industry groups who had shown support for the station development.

The station, opened after 10 years in development, is owned by the city and will be maintained and operated by Clean Energy. The facility has four CNG fuel dispensers and two LNG dispensers. The largest initial user of the facility will be the City's bus fleet.

According to McFerguson, the City has two full-size transit buses on order, one to be delivered in mid-August and the other next year. For smaller vehicles, "We're looking to see if there is available funding to purchase [natural gas] passenger vehicles or to convert vehicles," he said.

The total cost of the station is $3.3 million. Construction cost of the facility was distributed among numerous sources. The City expects to save almost 90 cents per gallon of fuel by purchasing CNG from its own facility and estimates annual savings to be $80,000 per year.

According to a release issued by the City, 1,000 new LNG trucks are being deployed in the nearby Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, further marking the importance of the station's completion. Located in an industrialized section of the city, the station is expected to play a key role in the development of the Interstate Clean Transportation Corridor (ICTC).