Detroit scores federal funds, hybrid buses

LaHood announced nationwide transit grants, including some for modern hybrid biodiesel-electric buses for Detroit and light rail for southeast Michigan

Transportation Management News Detroit Free Press October 21, 2011
Printer-friendly version

The Motor City is going hybrid.
Metropolitan Detroit will get about 20 new buses, and another $5 million will be used to purchase modern hybrid biodiesel-electric buses to replace aging carriers in the SMART suburban bus system, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The announcement was made by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who stood with Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, as part of a larger package of transportation project funding across the country.
The federal government announced nearly $930 million in transit grants nationwide. Michigan gets $47 million for 16 Michigan projects, including $6 million for a new administration and maintenance facility in Alpena and $4 million to replace old buses with hybrid buses in Lansing.
LaHood stood by a pledge to help the city build light rail as a catalyst for improved transit and economic redevelopment along southeast Michigan's best-known corridor. His comments come at a critical stage for the Woodward project: The feds want city and suburban leaders to figure out––and quickly––how to jointly manage and pay for the rail line, and, ultimately, regional bus service.
"Our support for this project is unwavering," LaHood said of Detroit's proposed 9-mile, 19-stop rail line on Woodward from downtown to 8 Mile Road.
Detroit was awarded $6 million to replace buses. Bing spokesman Dan Lijana said the federal grant would buy about 20 new buses; the city typically runs about 300 coaches a day. Detroit also will get $518,291 to upgrade buildings at Coolidge Terminal and $320,000 for an asset-management system to better track its fleet, facilities and equipment.
The SMART bus system will receive nearly $5 million to purchase the hybrid biodiesel-electric buses to replace some of its aging fleet. The money comes just a week after SMART announced it was cutting service 22% and laying off 123 workers as the agency faces loss of revenue from its tri-county millage based on plummeting property values.

Overlay Init