October 25, 2012

Mich. transit adds biodiesel fueling station

Monroe County, Mich.-based Lake Erie Transit (LET) participated in a public partnership to build a new biodiesel fueling station in Monroe, Mich.

The station will service vehicles for the Monroe County Road Commission (MCRC) and the Lake Erie Transportation Commission (LETC). The station has been built on MCRC property.

“The new fueling station will save on fuel costs,” said Mark Jagodzinski, GM, LET. “We are continually working to reduce our operating expenses and keep LETC operating within the tax levy renewal voted on by the tax payers in August.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place Oct. 30. Speakers at the event will include Debbie Stabenow, Michigan U.S. Senator; John Dingell, Michigan U.S. Representative; Mickey Duffey, Board Chairman of the Monroe County Road Commission; Joe Lybik, Board Chairman of the Lake Erie Transportation Commission; and Ned Birkey, Michigan State University Extension Educator for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The joint venture has been in the making for three years. The collaboration allowed MCRC to upgrade their existing fueling station and LET find a nearby, affordable biodiesel fueling location. By collaborating, they met the needs of two agencies and avoided duplication in the future.

“This partnership gave us an opportunity to pull our resources together to become more efficient,” said Randy Pierce, director of operations and acting interim director of the MCRC. “We feel this venture could create more opportunities to involve other agencies in the future. With the use of the new biodiesel fuel that will be available to us we are able to be more environmentally friendly and help control our operating cost.”

LET has 33 vehicles that will be converted to biodiesel. Biodiesel is a domestically made, renewable fuel made from vegetable oils, used cooking oil or animal fats. The use of biodiesel will save thousands of tons of exhaust emissions that cause smog and acid rain as well as particulate matter as compared to traditional diesel.

The MCRC is responsible for maintaining 1,505 miles of roads in Monroe County. The organization performs a wide range of activities from cutting grass to removing snow in the winter. MCRC has over 125 pieces of equipment which are dependent on fuel or gas to complete the job.

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