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Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

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  • #31
    Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

    Bad news for those waiting for the City of Palo Alto to open their refuleing station. I heard back from Keith LaHaie, Fleet Manager for the City of Palo Alto. I had asked about the process of station, and he said...

    "From what I understand, the communications issue has been resolved, and we’re now waiting on the contractor to start up the dispenser. After that, we will be developing a pricing structure and billing mechanism which will need to be approved by the City Council. I’m hesitant to give any timeline right now, because this has become somewhat of a low-priority project. We will continue to make progress."

    This station was supposed to open months ago. And they wonder why people lose faith in City government?

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    • #32
      Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

      Just checking in.

      2 months have gone by since the last post. Does anyone have an update? on the Palo Alto station?

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      • #33
        Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

        I've driven by there, but I don't see any progress.

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        • #34
          Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

          I exchanged e-mail yesterday with the MSC manager Keith LaHaie. Construction of the new facility is complete, but this is not the facility that will be used by the public. The old facility (at the same address) will be refurbished for use by the public. This was communicated in an earlier post to this thread (see below), but I missed it. It seems that many others here were also not aware of this plan.

          Mr. LaHaie said that the city is waiting for proposals to make repairs to the older pumps. He hopes to have the repairs made by the end of March. The City Counsel will then have to approve a rate schedule which may take a couple more months. He also reported that installing a credit card reader was cost prohibitive so they will have to come up with an internal billing system, which may take several months.

          As a Civic GX owner he understands our interest and concern, but it is evident that this project is not his primary responsibility. He assured me that he will continue to make progress. Sorry the news is not better.

          Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto
          From City Council meeting minutes dated June 19, 2006:
          DISCUSSION
          The Vehicle Replacement Fund and Gas Fund Capital Improvement Programs include projects (VR-01001; GS-00011) which will replace the existing conventional and CNG automotive fueling facilities located at the Municipal Services Center (MSC). The original intent of the project funded by GS-00011 was to construct a public CNG fueling facility that could be used as
          a backup to the City’s existing CNG facility. However, since the inception of this project, that intent has been affected by two factors:
          • The City’s existing fast-fill CNG facility is undersized for the current demand.
          • The cost of constructing a separate public CNG facility is unacceptably high and those costs could never be recovered through retail charges.
          Because of this, staff recommends that the funds available in GS-00011 be used to replace the City’s existing fast-fill CNG facility. Once the existing facility has been replaced, it can be reutilized for public CNG fueling. This would fulfill the original intent of the project, and will satisfy the public-access requirement of a grant funding agreement that exists between the City and the Valley Transit Authority.

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

            I received my access card to the Palo Alto service yard today. Filled up at $1.90/GGE. The new pump for public use still isn't ready, but the communications problem is being worked on. Until it's ready, the public can use the city pumps located at the back of the yard. There are three 3600-psi pumps and one 3000-psi pump. Hours are limited to 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
            I work in Palo Alto, live in Newark, so for the last year and a half I've been driving to San Carlo PG&E or Union City to fill up. Now I can fill up on my way to or from work. Yeah!

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

              That is cool. I looked on line and see that Palo Alto has CNG at their MSC. Looks like this is on Bayshore Dr. Is that where it is? I live in Menlo Park, but drive on Embarcaderro road every day, so it looks like it would be very convenient.

              What did you need to do to get your access card? Did they say when the public station would be open?

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              • #37
                Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

                The service center is on East Bayshore Road between San Antonio and Oregon. No word on when the public station will be open, so the city's pumps are being made available. Contact me via PM, and I'll send you the contact information. There is a package of forms to fill out and return. It took four weeks before I was contacted to make an appointment for training and to pick up the card, which gets me in the gate and accesses the pumps. I'll get a bill from the city.
                Joe

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                • #38
                  Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

                  Contact Keith LaHaie at the the Palo Alto MSC to make arrangements. They have a limited number of cards available for this pilot program.

                  Originally posted by Robert Hasslen View Post
                  That is cool. I looked on line and see that Palo Alto has CNG at their MSC. Looks like this is on Bayshore Dr. Is that where it is? I live in Menlo Park, but drive on Embarcaderro road every day, so it looks like it would be very convenient.

                  What did you need to do to get your access card? Did they say when the public station would be open?

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

                    what is the best way to contact Keith?

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

                      PM'd joeflyer and filled up at the Palo Alto MSC today for $1.99/gge. End-to-end process from first PM until today's first fill took about 2.5 weeks. Here's the location of the pump on Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/J009.

                      Things I like:
                      - Feels the most like a regular gas station than any other filling station (ever filled up in the rain?)
                      - Has free air/water/vacuum available for your use too
                      - 4 stations (3x3600, 1x3000)
                      - Pumps have nice digital indicator that gives you current pressure so you know how full you are (in addition to the regular stats)
                      - Feels like they have lots of pressure capacity. Garbage truck pulled up next to me and started filling up, but my pump was still going.

                      Things I don't like:
                      - Location is only temporary; the permanent 24x7 might not be as nice
                      - Limited access hours 9am - 2pm
                      - Price on the pump isn't accurate. The gge & fill level is, but the price per gge is wrong so the total is wrong (but it's no worse than a pg&e station that doesn't give you any price).

                      Couple Pics:


                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

                        Agree with Timsuh. It's a massively convenient if you drive up/down the 101 through Palo Alto for work. There are however limited hours as any City of Palo Alto vehicles have to fill-up early and late in day (although in the day you can sometimes fill up next to a dumpster truck, a cop car or a city bus which is kinda fun).

                        To use the station you have to get a card as its managed by City of Palo Alto and not PGE. It's a bit complicated to get a pass but here's what I did:

                        1. I literally drove up to the place and "rang the doorbell" on the phone outside the locked gate to ask about getting fuel from there. There's a bunch of numbers to call but I guessed so I guesses at one. I was wrong but they did connect me to the right person.
                        2. A lady then picked up the phone and buzzed me in and told me to drive around to her building.
                        3. I drove around to her building and filled out an application
                        4. About a week later they contacted me by email to arrange "training".
                        5. I called them by phone and went over there the next day, got the training and they gave me the card on the spot which allowed me to fill at the same time (I wish PGE did this).

                        Altogether it was a quick expereince and I love filling up there. They are also opening a 25 hour station in the next few weeks in an adjacent parking lot. The downside is the 24 hour station will only have 3000. However, the location is a reallt easy off/easy on from the 101 so it should be just fine.

                        Lastly, price is only 1.99 so 20% cheaper than PGE too!

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                        • #42
                          Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

                          City of Palo Alto now has a filling station installed in the employee parking lot. Downside - it is not covered. Upside - you can access it 24/7

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                          • #43
                            Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

                            How do you find the 24/7 station? I have a card key but only know how to find the 2pm or earlier pump. I've driven around but haven't been able to find the 24/7 one, and utility person whose phone # I have from the training hasn't responded.

                            Thanks in advance!

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

                              Driving north from the main entrance, look for the "Yield" sign for the hiking/biking trail. Turn in the driveway between the buildings and the covered parking lot. Go through the gate. The pump is on the right side, along the fence. I prefer the island pumps because this pump never gives a full fill, but this pump is open 24/7.

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                              • #45
                                Re: Planned Public Station in Palo Alto

                                Thanks, joeflyer! I am going hunting...

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