Pennsylvania will seek a private partner to design, build, finance, operate and maintain compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelling stations at up to 37 transit facilities throughout the state following approval by its Public-Private Partnership (PPP; P3) board, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) said in a statement.
The transportation agency will issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the fuelling stations, which will also be accessible to the public, while a Request for Proposals (RFP) is expected early next year.
PennDOT will also enter into a CNG supply contract with the preferred bidder and into purchase agreements with the transit agencies. A portion of the fuel sales revenues will go to PennDOT, which it will return to the transit agencies to use for other capital projects, according to the statement.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for PennDOT and its transit agency partners to team with the private sector to take advantage of the state’s natural gas resources, save money and improve our environment,” PennDOT secretary and P3 board chairman Barry Schoch said.
According to the press statement, Pennsylvania has become the second-largest natural gas producing state in the US and a net exporter of gas for the first time in 100 years.
“This is another example of the options we now have to expand or improve services because Governor [Tom] Corbett signed the P3 law,” Schoch added, referring to the Public and Private Partnerships for Transportation Act, enacted in September 2012.
Since Governor Corbett took office in January 2011, the state has moved ahead on a number of P3 projects, including: the Wireless Telecommunications Partnership Program, which will use PennDOT’s or other state property to build wireless telecommunications infrastructure; the Rapid Bridge Replacement project, which seeks to upgrade or rebuild 500 bridges throughout the state; and the redevelopment of train stations and surrounding facilities along the Amtrak Keystone line.
The projects are at various stages of development.