WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $2,290,000 to assist Laketran’s purchase of two low-emission electric buses and two charging stations that will service Lake County residents. This comes after Brown pushed the Trump Administration to support the project in June, citing the need for investment in Lake County transportation and Laketran’s readiness to implement the funds as part of their Battery Electric Fleet Conversion project. This investment will help Laketran’s plan to become one of the first transit agencies in Ohio to have all of it’s fixed-route local bus service run with zero emission technology.
“Lake County riders rely on buses to take them to work, school, or appointments and then to take them back home again,” said Brown. “Laketran is a leader in adopting new technology that reduces emissions and lowers the cost of providing transit service. This investment will help Laketran improve service for their riders and help Ohio continue its leadership in developing and deploying the next generation of zero-emission buses.”
“This is very exciting for Laketran, Lake County and Ohio,” said Laketran CEO, Ben Capelle. “Laketran will be the first transit system in the state to operate battery-powered electric bus technology. With this Low-No award, Laketran will replace 12 year old diesel buses with two zero-emissions transit buses and install charging stations to fully electrify one route. We're conscious of the impact transportation has on the environment and we're committed to improving the air quality in Northeast Ohio. Electric buses will not only reduce air pollution, but also our operating expenses. I would also like to thank Senator Brown's office and our local community partners for their letters of support that helped Laketran provide a competitive application.”
These funds are part of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Low or No Emission (Low-No) Program. As the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which oversees FTA, Brown has championed federal investment in zero-emission buses.
During Senate consideration of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act in 2015, Brown worked to double federal investment in zero-emission projects like the Laketran project.