A compressed natural gas station that opened in April served Monday as the centerpiece of a short ceremony marking the opening of the Atlantic City Jitney Association’s new headquarters on Delilah Road in Egg Harbor Township.

“Atlantic City’s loss is Egg Harbor Township’s gain,” Mayor James J. “Sonny” McCullough said as part of brief remarks to about 75 onlookers.

Monday’s ceremony drew state Board of Public Utilities President Robert Hanna, who said the fleet’s natural gas conversion and the new station to fuel the vehicles were consistent with Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to reduce reliance on traditional petroleum fuel and focus more on alternative energy and cleaner-burning fuels.

Jitney Association President Thomas Woodruff said the switch will save $1 million a year in fuel expenses because the price of diesel, which powered the previous fleet of jitneys, is significantly higher per gallon than natural gas.

The fleet conversion is the largest ever on the East Coast, McCullough said.

The station is operated by Clean Energy Fuels Corp., which also intends to open a station in Atlantic City in November.

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