Mich.’s Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) announced its recommendation for a zero-emission bus pilot project.
The initiative is a significant step toward reducing the agency’s carbon footprint and aligns with TheRide’s commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly transit solutions.
“Our recommendation for a hydrogen fuel-cell bus pilot project is not just about embracing cleaner technology; it’s about paving the way for a sustainable future,” said Matt Carpenter, CEO for TheRide. “We are eager for the public to learn about the details of this recommendation and provide their valuable feedback. Together, we can make a difference.”
TheRide’s Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Bus Pilot
The pilot project, which will span four to five years, includes:
- Two hydrogen fuel-cell buses and equipment.
- One outdoor fueling station.
- Workforce training.
- Twelve months of operation in all seasons.
If successful, this pilot will pave the way for a solution that eliminates all bus emissions, potentially saving about 7,000 tons of carbon emissions annually.
The agency noted the success and realization of this pilot project heavily relies on securing grant funding. To meet grant deadlines in Spring 2024, the CEO will present the recommendation to the board for discussions in October, November, and December 2023.
The goal is to secure board approval by January 2024. Once approved, TheRide staff will focus on grant submissions, which will significantly influence future capital budgets.
The pilot project’s estimated capital costs range from $5.5 million to $7.5 million, with TheRide contributing $1.1 million to $1.5 million and the Federal government covering $4.4 million to $6 million. The project’s total estimated costs are estimated between $6.9 million to $10.8 million. Funding for the non-federal share will come from TheRide’s Capital Reserve. Additionally, the Michigan Department of Transportation may assist with some non-federal capital expenses.