MI: Stabenow, Levin Announce 11 Grants for Michigan Transportation Projects

U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin today announced 11 grants for Michigan transportation agencies to purchase buses, rehabilitate facilities and study new public transit options. The projects were selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation on a competitive basis.

"These grants will create jobs and provide Michiganians across the state with upgraded public transportation options," said Levin, D-Mich. "These funds will support environmentally friendly projects and are solid investments in future growth. These grants will allow transit agencies to improve the customer experience and reduce their environmental impact."

"Many families depend upon public transportation to shop and to get to class or to work," said Stabenow. "In these tough economic times and with gas prices taking more of a bite out of family budgets, these projects will go a long way in making transportation more affordable."

Details of the grants follow:

Recipient: Southeast Michigan Council of Governments

Project: Central Woodward Corridor Alternatives Analysis

City: Detroit

Grant Amount: $2,000,000

Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 Alternatives Analysis Program. The study will include a possible 7.5-mile extension of the first phase of the planned Woodward Light Rail Transit, which will end just south of Eight Mile Road. The 7.5-mile Central Woodward corridor extends north from Eight Mile Road in Wayne County to Maple Road (Fifteen Mile Road) in downtown Birmingham, which is in southern Oakland County. This project will significantly enhance regional mobility and help to attract and retain businesses and the valued workforce. It will also significantly improve mobility between major medical facilities and universities in the region. The 7.5 mile study area is a major commercial and retail corridor that is also extensively utilized by commuters. Downtown Birmingham is a regional destination that contains offices, condominiums, upscale dining and retail, and entertainment destinations.

Recipient: City of Detroit Department of Transportation

Project: Transit Vehicle Replacement

City: Detroit

Grant Amount: $6,000,000

Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 State of Good Repair Program. The City of Detroit Department of Transportation will replace vehicles in its fleet that have met their useful lives.

Recipient: Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation

Project: Modern Hybrid Biodiesel/Electric Fixed-Route Bus Replacement

City: Greater Detroit

Grant Amount: $4,995,000

Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 Bus Livability Program. The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation will replace buses in its fleet that have met their useful lives with hybrid biodiesel/electric buses. These buses will modernize the bus fleet and contribute to healthier communities while improving mobility and ensuring an accessible, integrated, and efficient transportation system.

Recipient: Ann Arbor Transportation Authority

Project: Ann Arbor Connector

City: Ann Arbor

Grant Amount: $1,200,000

Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 Alternatives Analysis Program. The study will examine transit alternatives in the 8.5-mile crescent-shaped corridor extending from northeast Ann Arbor through the University of Michigan (UM) North and Central Campus, through the UM South Campus to Briarwood Mall near I-94. The study area incorporates two "Signature Transit Corridors" (the Northeast and the South) that were identified to focus new development and support a higher density of land use without generating the need for additional roadway improvements. The signature corridors are intended to improve access to major activity centers while complimenting Ann Arbor's goals to be a walkable and livable community. The study area also provides connectivity between the UM campuses, with downtown Ann Arbor, the traditional civic, economic, and cultural heart of the community, located just west of the Central Campus.

Recipient: Ann Arbor Transportation Authority

Project: Re-Imagine Washtenaw - Increased Transit Service Frequency on Washtenaw Avenue

City: Ann Arbor

Grant Amount: $2,625,000

Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 Bus Livability Program. Re-Imagine Washtenaw is a program jointly developed by the four jurisdictions in the corridor (the City of Ann Arbor, the City of Ypsilanti, Pittsfield Township, and Ypsilanti Township), the transit operator, the Michigan Department of Transportation, and Washtenaw County. The Washtenaw Area Transportation Study that implements a number of strategies for transportation and development improvements in the Washtenaw Avenue Corridor. As part of this larger effort, this project will purchase clean diesel buses with hybrid-electric components to increase bus service in this corridor.

Recipient: Blue Water Transportation Commission

Project: Replace BWATC Transfer Center

City: Port Huron

Grant Amount: $6,860,000

Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 State of Good Repair Program. BWATC will replace the existing Quay Street Transfer Center with one that is more centrally located in downtown Port Huron. The project will consolidate the transfer center over a smaller area, decreasing the time needed to make necessary transfers and improving service to customers.

Recipient: Flint Mass Transportation Authority

Project: Transit Vehicle Replacement (Hybrid)

City: Flint

Grant Amount: $5,187,500

Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 State of Good Repair Program. The Mass Transportation Authority will replace vehicles in its fleet that are beyond their useful lives with hybrid buses.

Recipient: Flint Mass Transportation Authority

Project: Purchase Over-the-Road CNG Coaches for Work-Related Transportation

City: Flint

Grant Amount: $3,000,000

Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 Bus Livability Program. The Mass Transportation Authority will replace over-the-road coaches in their fleet that have met their useful lives with compressed natural gas (CNG) coaches that will reduce overall energy usage and emissions. These coaches will be used to provide affordable commuter bus transportation for people employed outside of Genesee County.

Recipient: Michigan Department of Transportation

Project: Thunder Bay Transportation Authority Bus Facility

City: Alpena

Grant Amount: $6,000,000

Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 State of Good Repair Program. The Thunder Bay Transportation Authority will use the funds for Phases I & II of a new administration and maintenance facility. This facility will incorporate the newest circulation and ventilation system to reduce the harmful emissions from the diesel fleet. To reduce operational costs, the facility will also include additional LEED and green design techniques to the greatest extent possible.

Recipient: Capital Area Transportation Authority

Project: Transit Vehicle Replacement/Rehabilitation

City: Lansing

Grant Amount: $4,000,000

Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 State of Good Repair Program. The Capital Area Transit Authority will replace buses in its fleet that are beyond their useful lives with hybrid-electric buses and to rehabilitate existing buses to extend their useful lives by 5 years.

Recipient: Macatawa Area Express Transportation Authority

Project: Replacement of Bus Maintenance Facility

City: Holland

Grant Amount: $2,000,000

Project Description: This project was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2011 State of Good Repair Program. The Macatawa Area Express Transportation Authority will replace its aging bus facility with one that will meet the needs of the current fleet while allowing for future expansion. The new facility will include a number of LEED design aspects to allow savings on operating expenses.

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