As part of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Low or No Emission program, the Michigan DOT (MDOT) will receive over $6 million distributed 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, according to a press release from CALSTART. 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,” Jean Ruestman, MDOT Office of Passenger Transportation administrator, said in a statement. “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.
“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,” Maureen Marshall, Midwest director and manager of the project, said in a statement.