City gas station gets shut down |

City gas station gets shut down

The temporary compressed natural gas station on Shop Street blew a valve last week and forced two city buses and two city vans to go without the fuel for a day.

The problem challenged transit managers but didn’t disrupt service, said Chris Knight, general manager at Area Transit Management.

“We’re pretty good at improvising,” Knight said. “ATM does its own back up vehicles, but we don’t like to use them if we don’t have to because they’re not marked with city emblems.”

Technicians had to travel from San Francisco to fix the valve. Such a repair is the reason Lake Tahoe Basin transportation planners are going to install a permanent fueling station at South Shore.

The City Council in October voted to approve installation of the station in the corner of the front parking lot at Lake Tahoe Airport.

Despite winter weather, transportation planners aimed to have the station operational by February. But that deadline has been pushed back to April, said Pam Drum, spokeswoman at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

“We had some minor delays based on administrative issues,” Drum said. “We’re looking to go through the city’s permitting process in February, with installation in March and hope to be operational by early April.”

The city runs three of its buses and two vans on compressed natural gas. The California Tahoe Conservancy and U.S. Forest Service also use vehicles that run on the fuel, which is good for the environment because it produces less emissions than burning diesel.

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at

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