The Duluth Transit Authority has been awarded a $6.3-million grant to purchase six electric buses and a fast-charge station. Duluth was considered an excellent test location for the development of electric vehicle technology because of its challenging cold weather and steep terrain.
The grant comes from the Federal Transit Administration‘s Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program; the buses and charging station will come from Proterra, a South Carolina company that designs and manufactures zero-emission electric transit vehicles and systems.
The DTA was one of 10 grant applicants that will receive funding. A $1.1-million local share will bring the total project cost to $7.5 million.
The buses and charging station are expected to be available in 2016 and will be integrated into the DTA’s new Multimodal Transportation Center, which is under construction at Michigan Street and Third Avenue West and scheduled to open before the end of 2015.
In other transit news …
- The DTA reached a milestone on Dec. 17 for its U-Pass Program, a partnership with local colleges that allows students, faculty and staff to ride free. Travis Kasper of the University of Minnesota Duluth received a plaque of recognition and a gift basket last week for being the six-millionth U-Pass rider.
- The Minnesota Department of Transportation is seeking public input on its Statewide Bicycle System Plan during a series of statewide meetings in February and March. The Duluth meeting is being held on Thursday, Feb. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m., in City Hall room 303.
- The Duluth International Airport announced in January that the DLH passenger terminal will be named in memory of the late U.S. Rep. James L. Oberstar. The decision was made to honor Congressman Oberstar for his legacy in the transportation industry during his long legislative career and the role he played in the completion of the new DLH terminal project. Rep. Oberstar’s hometown airport, the Range Regional Airport, will also be honoring his accomplishments with a display in the new passenger terminal.
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