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Oklahoma’s Cherokee Nation is replacing more of its aging transit buses with CNG transit buses thanks to a $300,000 Federal Transit Administration grant. The grant is part of $5 million awarded to 42 American Indian and Alaska Native tribes in 19 states to improve transit services. The Cherokee Nation will use funds to buy four CNG transit buses to add to the one bus already running on CNG. “Oklahoma has become the natural gas hub of the country. The conversion to CNG vehicles makes our bus fleet greener and helps us reduce substantial fuel costs,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “The Cherokee Nation has always led by example, and we hope more and more tribes begin to utilize alternative fuel vehicles. CNG buses will save the Cherokee Nation money, use a locally produced fuel and be cleaner for the environment.”

Cherokee Nation contracts with Ki Bois Area Transit System, Pelivan Transit, Muskogee County Transit and Cimarron Public Transit to provide low-cost transportation throughout the tribe’s northeastern Oklahoma jurisdiction. More than 50,000 rides were provided through Cherokee Nation subsidized transit routes in the 2013 fiscal year. Native Americans and tribal employees can access rides on fixed routes and on demand service transit buses for $1 round-trip.