University

Razorback Transit benefits from stimulus funding

Posted on April 13, 2009

[IMAGE]RazorbackTransit-full.jpg[/IMAGE]Although few university transit systems will be able to benefit directly from the federal stimulus funds, Razorback Transit at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, is an exception.

“We are the recipient of FTA 5307 operating funds each year, so we were automatically included in the stimulus funding as an existing FTA recipient,” said Mike Seither, associate director of Razorback Transit.

Seither said the transit program is receiving $1.26 million in stimulus funding, most of which will be spent to procure three new buses. He said the buses will cost about $332,000 each, for a total of $996,000.

“The bus cost may change because of 2010 EPA engine requirements,” Seither added. “Right now we can’t seem to find any 2009 engines to put into those buses, so the cost may escalate from $15,000 to $25,000 per bus.”

Seither said the remaining stimulus money will be used for a variety of qualifying investments, including facility refurbishment ($135,000), maintenance department upgrades ($40,000), paratransit equipment and software ($50,000), ADA refurbishment ($15,000), service truck conversion ($5,000), computer equipment and software ($15,000) and bus shelter upgrades ($6,000).

Meanwhile, the University of Wisconsin in Madison is indirectly benefiting from a local infusion of stimulus funding.

“The university encouraged the city of Madison to use transportation stimulus funding to purchase diesel-electric hybrids instead of diesel buses,” said Gordon Graham, the university’s transportation administrator. “Many Metro Transit routes are on campus or through campus, so we get some benefit even though we are not a designated recipient.”

Chuck Kamp, general manager of Metro Transit, said about $9 million of the $9.6 million in stimulus funding allocated to the transit system will be used to purchase 18 hybrid buses. “The proposal requires approval by the City and the Madison Metropolitan Area Planning Organization,” he said.

Kamp said Metro Transit is in the middle of a five-year bus procurement contract with Gillig Corp. that allows options to purchase additional hybrid buses. “Metro currently has five hybrid buses that are achieving about 30 percent improvements in fuel economy and are being well received by bus passengers and pedestrians alike for a notably quieter ride,” he said.

 

 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Uber investing $25K in U. of Md. student startups

Students at the university's "Startup Shell," a collaborative space and technology incubator, may compete in business competitions for potential investor grants from Uber. The partnership will also include mentoring opportunities and the creation of an "innovation council," which will include students, faculty and staff, for crowdsourcing and development.

Former U. of Mich. grad to lead Ann Arbor transit agency

Matt Carpenter has more than 15 years of experience in the transit industry, including the past eight as CEO of Strathcona County Transit in the Edmonton area. He has a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan, where he studied from 2001 to 2003.

Gov. urges U. Illinois employees to use Amtrak

Executive Order 8 addresses Illinois’ fiscal crisis by recommending that state agencies require employees, whenever possible, to take public transportation or carpool when traveling. The state hopes this action will reduce travel reimbursements in gas money.

Ohio State U. to build CNG station

The university recently issued an RFQ and is evaluating potential locations. Four of its new buses are powered by CNG, and the school says it sees a benefit to converting more of its vehicles to alternative fuels.

Pupil transportation veteran shifts to Villanova university job

In his new role, Jerry Rineer works with Villanova students who have mobility issues, providing support for them as they make their way across the 254-acre campus. The private university, which has a total enrollment of about 10,700, has a large fleet of vans and other vehicles to serve its students.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

Please sign in or register to .    Close