Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE:R), a leader in commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions, today announced that Willow Run Foods, Inc. (Willow Run Foods) has signed a Ryder Full Service Lease agreement for 15 heavy duty compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. The 63-year-old customized food distributor for regional and national chains throughout the northeast United States is Ryder’s first natural gas lease customer in New York. This natural gas vehicle project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 500 tons annually and expected to save Willow Run Foods more than $100,000 annually through a reduction of 175,000 gallons of diesel fuel consumption. “With several years of experience operating and maintaining natural gas vehicles, we are in a unique position to help businesses leverage our expertise by making alternative fuel vehicles available through our lease and rental arrangements,” said Ryder President of Global Fleet Management Solutions, Dennis Cooke. “We’ve seen great interest from our customers who want to take advantage of the environmental and cost benefits of natural gas vehicles. They know that partnering with Ryder is a low risk way to get started quickly and without a large capital investment.” Willow Run Foods will take delivery of the 15 natural gas vehicles in October to replace 15 diesel-powered vehicles in their existing fleet. The 15 CNG vehicles will be used to make deliveries to several chain restaurants in New York City, Long Island and northern New Jersey. The natural gas vehicles were made available through funding assistance provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as part of the Willow Run Foods clean-energy project. Ryder and Willow Run Foods are working together to upgrade the customer’s existing On-Site maintenance facility to meet the unique requirements for servicing natural gas vehicles. The Ryder On-Site Fleet Maintenance solution brings Ryder’s state-of-the-art maintenance technology and expertise right to the customer’s location and gives all of the advantages of Ryder’s professionally managed vehicle maintenance with ease, convenience, and reliability.