|PA Turnpike, Sunoco Inc. Open Three CNG Pumps at New Stanton Plaza
CNG now available for passenger, commercial and off-Turnpike vehicles.
|NEW STANTON, PA (NOV. 13, 2014) - Officials from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and Sunoco Inc. today marked the opening of three Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling dispensers at the Turnpike's New Stanton Service Plaza located at milepost 77.6 westbound in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County.
The dispensers - one for passenger vehicles, one for commercial trucks, and one located outside the plaza gate for use by off-Turnpike vehicles - are Sunoco's first CNG offering in Pennsylvania since the 1990s.
"Our service plazas are something extra that travelers won't find on every interstate, and our customers like the variety of amenities they get here," said PA Turnpike Commissioner Sean Logan of Monroeville. "We have Sunoco A-Plus convenience stores and Starbucks coffee at all locations, and you'll find amenities from farmers markets and free Wi-Fi to pet-walking areas and no-fee ATMs. Now, we can add CNG to the list for one plaza thanks to our enduring partnership with Sunoco."
The current cost for the CNG at New Stanton is $1.99 per Gasoline Gallon Equivalent (GGE), both for on- and off-Turnpike fueling. The GGE unit for CNG is comparable to one gallon of gasoline for powering vehicles.
"We are thrilled to be able to offer Turnpike drivers the choice of Compressed Natural Gas in the heart of the Marcellus Shale area," said Cynthia Archer, executive vice-president and chief marketing officer for Sunoco Inc., the fuel provider at all 17 PA Turnpike travel plazas. "This business is in keeping with what we have always done - fueling vehicles - and we will continue to meet our customers' needs for Compressed Natural Gas and other alternative fuels."
CNG is just one of the alternate-fuel options on the Turnpike. The Oakmont-Plum Service Plaza, which serves eastbound traffic near the Allegheny Valley Interchange (Exit 48), was the first Turnpike stop in the nation to sell Ethanol E-85 in 2007; today, E-85 is sold at four PA Turnpike plazas. In addition, drivers have access to four Level-II Electric-Vehicle (EV) charging stations across the Turnpike, including one at New Stanton and one at Oakmont-Plum. The two other EV chargers are at the Turnpike's Bowmansville and King of Prussia plazas in southeastern PA.
"CNG is especially popular among commercial truck fleets, and this plaza was selected in part because this stretch has a higher volume of truck traffic than most," said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. "Our average westbound traffic here is more than 17,500 vehicles per day; about a third of that, or 5,300 vehicles a day, is commercial vehicles - more than double our average, system-wide truck volume of 13 percent."
The PA Turnpike last year added a pair of CNG-fueled trucks to its maintenance fleet: a single-axle Freightliner dump truck for plowing and salt application and a Mack tractor truck used to transport heavy equipment on a lowboy trailer. The trucks, both of which will be fueled at the New Stanton Plaza, are being used as part of a pilot project to test the effectiveness of CNG, which is said to be cheaper and cleaner than traditional fossil fuels.
To learn more about other amenities at PA Turnpike servicer plazas, operated by Sunoco and HMS Host Corp. of Bethesda, Md., click http://www.paturnpike.com/geninfo/srvcplaza/serviceplazas.aspx.