DART buying compressed natural gas-powered buses

January 12, 2011 6:12:17 AM PST
Dallas Area Rapid Transit is spending $217 million on up to 452 buses powered by compressed natural gas. The Dallas Morning News reports DART's order for new buses will be the nation's largest and will be the first big purchase to include electric air conditioning.

A DART board committee voted unanimously Tuesday for the fleet purchase, with service expected to begin in 2013.

DART will build CNG fueling stations, with the federal government helping with the cost. Current buses run on diesel fuel.

DART chairman William Velasco cited environmental reasons for using CNG-powered buses, saying "cleaner air is better air."

DART provides transportation for Dallas and a dozen surrounding cities in a 700-square-mile service area. The operations include the state's largest municipal rail system.