MTA Receives Innovation in Transportation Award

The Innovation in Transportation Award was presented to the Mass Transportation Authority at the Howell Chamber Annual Meeting held on Thursday, January 26th . The award was given in recognition of the partnership that has formed between the various partners and the counties. The Chamber identified 300-400 new employees that have started jobs in the Howell community as the result of this new transportation program. Additional employers are working with the MTA to expand service further and address the needs of several hundred workers from the Flint/Genesee area that will commute to Howell/Livingston County daily.

In December 2015, business, nonprofit and transportation officials partnered to connect job needs in Livingston County to Flint residents who were willing to work, but had no vehicle to get to the job location. The public-private partnership is something that the Mass Transportation Authority has been involved since the agency started regional transportation. Since 1997, the MTA has transported workers to jobs in different counties. As the counties demographics and jobs change, the need for regional transportation continues to grow. “It’s my estimation that within the next year our work related commuter services, now serving 7 counties, will grow to 5000 unique riders per day and 10,000 individual trips, generating 2-3 million work related trips annually,” Ed Benning, MTA General Manager/CEO, said. “The Howell Chamber has been a great partner in this new service expansion and we appreciate this opportunity.”

Flint MTA Unveils Proterra Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Flint’s Mass Transportation Authority unveiled a Proterra Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle on Friday, October 21, 2016. The vehicle is in Flint for a year and is on a pilot/test program. Part of the study will be to see how the bus tests in a cold environment as it has only been run in warmer climates.

The bus will be tested on different routes in the city of Flint. Part of the study includes checking the vehicle’s fuel consumption as well. The vehicle is highly technical and will be monitored by an on-site Proterra mechanic.

The bus is the result of a collaborative partnership under the National Fuel Cell Bus Program, a Federal Transit Administration program aimed at energizing the transit industry by investing in zero emission hydrogen fuel cell buses.

Built on top of Proterra’s standard electric recharge the onboard batteries keep the bus running throughout the service day. Each fuel cell system can independently power the bus on a majority of transit routes, providing additional system reliability. The hydrogen fuel used is produced through steam reforming natural gas. One kilogram of hydrogen has an energy content of 116,000 BTU, equivalent to one gallon of gas.

This hydrogen source can have a well to pump energy efficiency of 75%. Combined with a bus efficiency approaching 50%, this bus uses the energy in natural gas more efficiently than a conventional bus running on natural gas.

It’s top speed is 55 mph, and with the battery and hydrogen has a range of 280 miles. The range using the battery only is 30 miles. The vehicle seats 35 passengers.

Flint’s Mass Transportation Authority continues to be on the forefront of working with and using alternative fuel vehicles.

Thank You

"I want to thank the MPTA Staff and Volunteers of Cindy Sordyl Zolkowski, Joe DeKoning, Linda Harder, Kate DeKoning, and Samantha LeFebre, MDOT employees who helped with planning and all the members who pitched in to make this year's MPTA Annual Meeting a great success. The ratings were great and I have been told by several members that this was the best conference they have attended! Thanks to our wonderful vendors, headed up by Randy Veenhoven, for all their support. And a special thanks to John Martin, CEO of SIR in Virginia, for what many called our best keynote address ever!"
-Clark Harder, Executive Director

MDOT 2017-2020 state transportation improvement plan ready for public comment

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is seeking public comment on its draft 2017-2020 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). Required under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the STIP lists transportation projects MDOT intends to fund with federal aid provided under the federal transportation program.

Prepared by MDOT in partnership with local transportation agencies, the STIP is a compilation of trunkline and local projects that meet the transportation goals and strategies for a four-year period. These transportation improvement projects reported in the STIP were developed in coordination with metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) representing urbanized areas, and with rural task forces and small urban areas. The planning process relies on the participation of state and local government officials, public and private transit providers, organizations representing the customers and providers of transportation in Michigan, and the general public.

The STIP is not a single report; it is comprised of 14 separate documents: 13 individual MPO Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs) and one statewide non-MPO STIP document.

MDOT will be accepting public comment on the STIP through Aug. 15, 2016. The document is posted on the MDOT web site at

For questions about the STIP, contact Mark Kloha at 517-241-3675.

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