You have probably seen them driving around Penn State's University Park campus -- the silver or blue Honda Civics with blades of green grass on the back. They are the new parking enforcement vehicles for Transportation Services and they run on compressed natural gas (CNG).
CNG -- a cheaper alternative to gasoline, diesel fuel and propane -- has fewer emissions, remains clear and odorless, and is safer in the event of a spill.
“Our previous parking enforcement vehicles were due for replacement,” explained Ryan Givens, assistant director of Transportation Services. “With an existing compressed natural gas infrastructure and pumps already in place at our OPP fueling station, and with the vehicles only being used on campus, Innovation Park, and other nearby campus properties, this was the perfect application and opportunity to use them.
“It’s also an opportunity to take a very visible ‘green’ step. We can use CNG vehicles about eight to 10 years, which is longer than the typical use of non-CNG fleet vehicles.”
Transportation Services, which introduced the Civics during the fall semester, isn’t the only department on campus to use the greener fuel source. The Office of Physical Plant has also invested in and operates 58 CNG vehicles.
According to CNGNow.com, there are more than 12 million vehicles using CNG on the road today. Only about 250,000 of those vehicles are in the U.S. Penn State Transportation Services can now proudly claim ownership of three of them.