LOS ANGELES --- The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to buy up to 260 new high-capacity buses that run on compressed natural gas (CNG).

The Metro Board approved the purchase of the CNG buses as well as spare parts, diagnostic equipment, training aids and modifications for a contract value of almost $175 million. The buy is subject to completion of the required Buy America Pre-Award audit. North American Bus Industries is the seller.

Delivery of these buses will be completed by June 30, 2010. The new buses will replace the oldest 40-foot diesel and CNG buses in Metro's fleet.

The Metro Board approved funding for this project in February. Metro now has a fleet of 2,561 active buses, almost all of them fueled with compressed natural gas.