Flint to buy 32 buses with federal grant - WNEM TV 5

Flint to buy 32 buses with federal grant

Posted: Updated:
(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

One of Mid-Michigan's busiest cities will soon have a cleaner way to travel.

Flint's Mass Transit Authority said it will update its fleet using grant money to purchase 32 new buses that will leave a green imprint on the community.

"We're replacing diesel powered vehicles that are over 20-years-old, 21-years-old going on 22. Some of them have over one million miles on them," said Ed Benning, general manager at Flint MTA.

He said many of the city buses need to be retired. Some of the buses double the nation standard for mileage. Right now, it costs MTA up to $40,000 a month to keep the 20-year-old buses on the road. The maintenance costs on a natural gas powered bus is a fraction of that on a diesel bus.

"It will allow us to be much more efficient and reducing our cost of operation. It will allow us to expand services, which means hiring drivers and provide more service," Benning said.

The buses will be purchased through a $13 million grant from the federal government.

Benning said the plan is to replace all buses that run on diesel fuel and use buses that are powered by either propane, natural gas or electricity," Benning said.

Another Mid-Michigan city may benefit from the grant as well. STARS in Saginaw has many aging buses in its fleet that are in desperate need of repair or replacement.

Glenn Steffens, director of STARS, said some of the city buses are more than 20-years-old and are constantly in the shop. The agency's annual budget has very little room to buy new buses, but Steffens said it's something that has to happen this year.

"A new bus, a new 35 foot bus costs a half a million dollars. So if we've got a million dollars we might be able to get two in a year. I've identified that we need 20," Steffens said.

To combat that problem, Saginaw will get used buses from Flint's MTA that are in much better condition. Replacing nearly half of the bus fleet with refurbished buses could still cost $100,000 a vehicle. With Flint stepping in, STARS will pay $1 for each bus.

"That's a big deal because I can get rid of a 20-year-old bus that breaks down all the time and put one of these in its place. And even though they're used buses, even though they are older, they're a lot to be gained. We can count on them. They are more reliable," Steffens said.

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, WNEM; Saginaw, MI. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.