- Associated Press - Friday, June 13, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Lincoln city officials are replacing their diesel-powered buses with ones powered by compressed natural gas.

The city began the switch on Friday, when officials unveiled five new StarTran buses. The buses are expected to save the city an estimated $1.3 million over their 15-year lifetimes, with reduced maintenance and fuel costs.

Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler says the buses are quieter and safer, and will produce fewer greenhouse gases than the diesel models.

The first five buses will run on routes through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, starting in August. The city will deploy eight more buses over the next two years, with more to come until all of the diesel buses have been replaced.

Each new bus costs about $484,000. The fuel system costs about $35,000.

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