Michigan Department of Transportation Receives Over $6 Million for Advanced Technology, Zero Emission Buses

Latest Project Will Expand Transit Benefits in Rural Communities

November 16, 2020 (Lansing, MI)—As part of the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emission program, the Michigan Department of Transportation (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. 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 is nationally respected for bringing clean transit across the entire state,” added Maureen Marshall, 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, 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.”

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A national nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado, and California and partners world-wide, CALSTART works with 265-member company and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient, and clean high-tech transportation industry. We knock out barriers to modernization and the adoption of clean vehicles. CALSTART is changing transportation for good.