WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $4,300,000 to Laketran to purchase battery electric buses and equipment, and reconstruct a park and ride facility. Brown wrote to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in support of Laketran’s investment in electric buses and helped secure the funds for the grant program as part of the multi-year surface transportation law, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, that was enacted in 2015.
“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 additional 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.”
These funds are part of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) “Buses and Bus Facilities” program. Brown – who serves as the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which oversees DOT’s Federal Transit Administration – has championed federal investment in zero-emission buses. Brown was the lead Senate Democratic negotiator on the public transportation title of the FAST Act. That law created the Sec. 5339 “Buses and Bus Facilities” competitive grant program, which distributed $423 million to projects this year, including the Laketran project.
In August of 2018, at Brown’s urging, DOT announced a $2,290,000 award to assist Laketran with the purchase of two low-emission electric buses and two charging stations that will service Lake County residents. Brown pushed the Trump Administration to support the project, 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. The 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.
During Senate consideration of the FAST Act in 2015, Brown worked to double federal investment in zero-emission projects like the Laketran project.