- MDOT will receive more than $6 million to be distributed to six transit agencies for zero-emission battery electric buses.
- The project will expand transit benefits in rural and urban communities.
- New charging infrastructure to support the new electric vehicles will be designed and installed.
November 17, 2020 -- As part of the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Low or No Emission program, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will receive more than $6 million to distribute to six transit agencies located in both the Upper and Lower peninsulas to replace aging diesel buses with zero-emission battery electric buses. New charging infrastructure to support the new electric vehicles will be designed and installed as well. In collaboration with CALSTART's Midwest Office, the project will provide clean transportation in rural and urban communities, supporting the local economy by providing residents transportation while improving public health and quality of life across the state.
"Affordable, reliable, and clean transit options should be available to everyone throughout the state," said Jean Ruestman, MDOT Office of Passenger Transportation administrator. "With the support of this federal investment, we can create a sustainable transportation system of the future for our rural and urban areas alike. CALSTART's expertise in efficient transportation technologies and program management makes them a great partner to help us implement this multi-year project."
As with any new technology deployment and as the transit agencies transition to battery electric vehicles, technical training for maintenance personnel and responders will be required. This new FTA project includes education courses for maintenance personnel as well as specialized training for fire and medical emergency first responders.
"Not only is Michigan a global leader in sustainable transportation manufacturing and innovation but it is nationally respected for bringing clean transit across the entire state," added Maureen Marshall, CALSTART's Midwest director and manager of the project. "The transition to zero-emission buses will reduce air and noise pollution in vulnerable communities, as well as support the growth of manufacturing jobs and innovation right here in Michigan."
"Moving toward electrified vehicles is both a public health priority and an economic imperative," continued Jared Schnader, CALSTART's national transit program manager. "This work supports new career paths in the booming electrification sector and helps to secure our energy independence through cleaner public transit options. We are so very excited to be partnering with a leader like MDOT for this project."
A leading national clean transportation nonprofit with Midwest Regional operations in Troy, Mich., CALSTART will provide project management support for infrastructure planning and energy analyses. This includes route modeling, outreach, acquisition assistance, and standard operating procedure development.