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Checker Celebrates CNG Cab

October 2, 2012 in CNG, Fleet Order, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

It’s the First CNG Taxi in Missouri, and in Kansas, Too

“We’re putting our toe in the water,” says Craig Bates, as his Checker Transportation Group in Kansas City, Mo. has fielded its first compressed natural gas taxi.

Checker Transportation Group of Kansas City boasts the first CNG taxi in Missouri — and Kansas too for that matter — and is looking forward to the advent of more public fueling.

It’s the first CNG taxi in Missouri, he says – and in Kansas, too.

The Kansas City Checker is a 2004, police-surplus Ford factory Crown Victoria. Bates has several more such sedans being prepped for service, with a targeted total of five by year-end. Checker also has a Ford E-450 chassis former airport shuttle being outfitted as a party bus, he told F&F.

Once more CNG fueling is available, Checker plans to buy Ford Transit Connects, upfitted with BAF fuel systems by Olathe Ford. Olathe Ford is the only BAF-approved installer among automotive dealers.

Among Bates’s reasons are cleaner air, use of a domestic fuel – and a gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) price currently at $1.69 per gallon, as compared with $3.79 for a gallon of gasoline.

Pioneering Vehicle Will Operate in Two States

The CNG taxi will be assigned primarily to Checker’s Kansas division. It will fuel at a Kansas Gas Services fueling facility in Overland Park, Kans., recently upgraded as part of a Metropolitan Energy Center-Clean Cities Recovery Act project. “This location is currently the only public-access CNG station in the Metropolitan area,” says an MEC release.

The car will be licensed by the cities of Overland Park, Kans., and Kansas City, Mo., and will be available for service on both sides of the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Olathe Ford recently converted ten Crown Victoria sedans for the Kansas City, Mo. police, also as part of the MEC project.

Plans exist for additional public fueling in the area “in the near future,” MEC says. Checker over time may convert half of its 150-vehicle fleet.

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