• 4 Apr 2022 9:32 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    The Oneida Nation is receiving a $1.47 million grant to support its public transit system.

    “The Oneida Public Transit system is a valuable asset for the Oneida Nation because it provides transportation services to a variety of tribal members and the general public,” said Carol J. Moore, transit manager for the tribe. “It connects rural community members to jobs, medical care, recreation opportunities and into a regional shopping and services area in Green Bay.”

    The tribe’s transit service area extends just beyond the borders of its 65,000-acre reservation. Its eastern border roughly follows Taylor Street in Green Bay and the western border extends to Seymour, encompassing more rural portions of the reservation.

    In 2018, the transit system completed more than 34,000 trips, Moore said. That was cut in half in 2021 because of a reduction of services and limited seating resulting from COVID-19 pandemic health guidelines.

    The nearly $1.5 million federal grant from the American Rescue Plan will assist with the operational costs of the Oneida Public Transit Program through 2029.

    “In general, operating expenses are those costs necessary to operate, maintain and manage a public transportation system,” Moore said.

    These operating costs include driver salaries, fuel, maintenance, and personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.

    The transit system was established as a department of the Oneida Nation in 1982 and runs on a “demand response” system that provides curb-to-curb pickup service. It requires advanced scheduling by customers, which can include private individuals, public entities and nonprofits.

    Its fleet of three shuttle buses, five vans and two minivans, all of which are wheelchair accessible, can pick up passengers from their homes, medical facilities, such as the Oneida Health Center, recreational facilities and shopping areas on the reservation, such as the Walmart and Festival Foods, that lease from the tribe.

    The fare is $1.50 for adults one way and $1 for elders, children and people with disabilities. The system also includes a program of free rides for elders who need dialysis treatments three times a week.

    The grant is part of $8.3 million in funding for the state of Wisconsin and  $2.2 billion in grants nationwide for transit services.

    “Essential public transit workers have been on the front lines of the pandemic for two years, keeping our economy moving and helping Americans get where they need to go,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement. “This additional funding from the American Rescue Plan is helping communities across the country keep transit workers on the job and keep their trains and buses running.”


  • 31 Mar 2022 7:10 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and nine members of the city’s Common Council have introduced a resolution authorizing a contract to buy dozens of all-electric buses for the upcoming bus rapid transit program.

    The non-competitive contract with New Flyer industries includes a base order of 27 bus rapid transit buses costing up to $41.6 million. Also included are options to buy an additional 14 diesel buses for $14 million or 19 more electric buses for $28.9 million by the end of the year.

    non-competitive selection request form included with the legislation said New Flyer is the only vendor able to provide the buses the city needs due to federal rules.

    In a news release, Rhodes-Conway’s office said money from the federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act is allowing Madison to change the bus purchase to include as many as 46 electric buses without more local funding.

    “I am grateful to President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg for helping Madison move quickly to implement a fully electric BRT system,” Rhodes-Conway said in the release. “I also want to thank Alders Furman and Foster for being early champions of this resolution, and all Alders who signed onto this important investment for the future of our transportation network, the future of our dynamic economy and the sustainability of our environment for generations to come.”

    The release estimates the switch to electric buses could save nearly 250,000 gallons of diesel gasoline every year and $125,000 in maintenance costs over the lifetime of each bus.


  • 28 Mar 2022 7:13 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    The Greater Madison MPO is finishing up work on the Connect Greater Madison: Regional Transportation Plan 2050 (RTP) update, and is announcing opportunities to comment on draft plan recommendations through the plan website and upcoming virtual public meetings. The public is invited to provide comments on the draft future roadway, transit, and bicycle networks included in the plan through a new interactive comment map on the plan website that will be available until April 12th. The draft plan recommendations and supporting maps have also been posted on the website. The public is also invited to join us for the third and final round of virtual public meetings on April 7th at 5:30 P.M. or April 12th at noon to provide feedback on the draft plan goals, recommendations, and performance measures to be used to assess progress in achieving plan goals. The meetings will be recorded and will be available on our YouTube channel.

    The regional transportation system plays a significant role in quality of life in Dane County, the fastest growing county in Wisconsin. To accommodate future growth successfully, the region must have an integrated, multimodal transportation network that supports regional land use development, environmental, economic, and social equity goals.

    “The Regional Transportation Plan provides the necessary framework to ensure we make smart choices about transportation investments and policies that help us achieve our shared regional goals,” said MPO Planning Manager, Bill Schaefer. “Implementing agencies, including WisDOT and local governments, will be encouraged to use the plan goals and recommendations when undertaking planning efforts and prioritizing and implementing transportation projects to achieve the future transportation vision laid out in the plan and support the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission’s Regional Development Framework.” In addition to projects, the plan also recommends studies to develop specific improvements needed to address identified needs and issues. This includes the currently ongoing major WisDOT studies on Beltline, Interstate, and Stoughton Road.

    The RTP is updated every five years and establishes the framework for transportation in the Madison region. The planning time horizon is a minimum of twenty years, in this case 28 years out to the year 2050. The RTP defines regional goals and performance measures, and specifies the policies, strategies, and projects that will help achieve these goals. Transportation projects must be included in or consistent with the RTP to be eligible for federal funding.

    Register for one of our Public Involvement Meetings

    Now available for comment are the draft RTP recommendations and an interactive comment map including the draft future transit, bicycle, and roadway networks to be included in the RTP. The complete draft plan report will be available in early April.

    Join us on April 7th at 5:30 P.M. or April 12th at noon to learn more about this important regional transportation planning process and provide your feedback on the draft plan goals, recommendations, and performance measures. Staff will share additional information about the draft future planned transportation networks included in the interactive comment map.

    To date, the MPO has completed an extensive analysis of the existing transportation network; future transportation needs based on forecasted future travel and other local and regional transportation and land use planning efforts; and input received from the public. The recommendations featured in the plan include supporting actions for the different modes of transportation, managing travel demand and the transportation system, and recommendations for land use and transportation integration in coordination with the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission’s 2050 Regional Development Framework.


  • 24 Mar 2022 7:17 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    Madison BCycle and Madison Public Library have relaunched the Community Pass Program in conjunction with the return of BCycles to stations around Madison on March    15, 2022.

    The program, in partnership with the Madison Public Library Foundation , enables riders to use their Madison Public Library card to access one of over 350 electric bikes. 

    “Making bike share more accessible in our community is a top priority for us,” said Madison BCycle General Manager Helen Bradley. “Providing the Community Pass Program is one way we can ensure that everyone in our community has access to bike share as a transportation option.” 

    While e-bike checkouts from a BCycle station or mobile app typically require a credit card or smartphone to unlock, the Madison BCycle Community Pass Program is an alternative checkout method for riders who might have previously been unable to access bike share. 

    Library card holders can check out one of the available Madison BCycle passes from any Madison Public Library location. The passes can be checked out for up to a week at a time and provide access to over 350 electric-assist bikes at more than 50 BCycle stations. Riders also have the option to check out a helmet as needed. 

    As part of the partnership, Madison Public Library Foundation has helped make the program a reality by funding the available Madison BCycle passes.

    “This partnership with BCycle was very popular last fall,” said Executive Director of the Madison Public Library Foundation Jenni Jeffress. “Making electric bikes accessible to library card holders is another way to help provide equitable bike share access for all riders and expand library services.”

    Each of the nine Madison Public Library locations have two Community Passes available for checkout. Madison BCycle currently has stations outside of the Central Library location on West Mifflin Street and the Pinney Library on Cottage Grove Road.

    Riders can learn more about the Community Pass Program at madison.bcycle.com .

    About Madison BCycle
    Since its launch in 2011, Madison BCycle has grown to include over 350 electric-assist bikes and 50 BCycle stations in and around Madison. Madison BCycle is owned and operated by BCycle LLC, delivering best-in-class bike share as a sustainable and accessible transportation alternative for cities. BCycle believes that bike share is the bicycle’s role in public transit and is on a mission to change the world by getting more people on bikes.


  • 21 Mar 2022 7:02 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    The City of Madison will receive $6.4 million to restore Madison Metro’s maintenance and administrative facility, The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Monday.

    The funds are part of more than $409 million awarded to 39 states with the passing of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law, the DOT explained.

    The City of Madison, which is the only Wisconsin city that was awarded money, will use the funds to continue to provide reliable transportation for its citizens.

    The grants provide funds to projects to modernize and improve transit, as well as buy green technology or electric buses, explained U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

    “These grants will help people in communities large and small get to work, get to school, and access the services they need,” Buttigieg said. “Everyone deserves access to safe, reliable, clean public transportation – and thanks to the President’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are bringing modern buses to communities across America.”

    The department’s Federal Transit Administration received more than $2.5 billion in funding requests, which it noted where over five times the amount of funding available under the previous law.

    The Texas Department of Transportation received the highest grant award, with more than $22 million set aside for the purchase of new buses, a new transit maintenance facility and support charging infrastructure for rural transit fleets.


  • 17 Mar 2022 7:22 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Metro Ride and the Wausau Area Metropolitan Planning Organization are seeking input about the future of public transit in the Wausau metropolitan area.

    The survey is part of a five-year transit plan to develop transportation strategies in the area.

    “It’s very important to get the public’s opinion. Especially for a service as important as transit is,” said Andrew Lynch, transportation planner for Marathon County and the Wausau Metropolitan Planning Organization.

    The survey is a way to figure out the wants and needs of public transportation.

    “The consultants we hired have put together a survey that’s going to kind of take the temperature and find out some of the attitudes, some of the desires of people in the metro area in regards to transit service,” said Lynch.

    The information will be used to determine the future of public transit in the area.

    “It will all be put together and help direct some recommendations, some options for either enhancing the current service or potentially expansion into other communities,” said Lynch.

    The transportation planners said the survey is a way to make your voice heard.

    “Well I can guarantee you won’t have a say in the process unless you fill out the survey,” said Lynch.

    The survey can be completed online by clicking here. Printed copies are also available at the Marathon County Public Library branches in Wausau, Rothschild, and Mosinee.


  • 14 Mar 2022 7:00 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    One sector that could benefit from the rising price of gasoline is public transit. City buses and trains have seen big dips in ridership during the pandemic. Even with some folks back in their offices, the American Public Transit Association said demand is still 62% of what it was before the pandemic, but high gas prices could help turn that around. 

    The main thing that got Peter Robison out of his car was the hundreds of dollars he spent on parking in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Now he takes the bus. “So last year was when I really made the full switch over,” Robison said.

    With gas prices so high, he’s feeling pretty good about that decision. “I don’t want to say the word ‘smug,’ but I’m very much insulated from the rise in prices,” he said.

    Public transit could soon see more riders like Robison, according to Chandra Bhat, who studies travel behavior at the University of Texas at Austin school of engineering. 

    “When we want to try to move people from driving alone to transit use, car use disincentives tend to work better,” Bhat said. For instance, a disincentive like $4-a-gallon gas.

    A few big-city transit systems, including Washington’s Metro and San Francisco’s BART, have seen slight increases in ridership since the beginning of March. 

    Bobby Sisneros, with Albuquerque, New Mexico’s, Transit Department, said this is an opportunity to entice riders who got used to driving more during the pandemic. 

    “In the current situation that we’re in with gas prices rising, we get out and we want to remind folks that there’s ways to save money. One of those ways is to jump on our bus,” Sisneros said.

    He said the city has a fuel-purchasing contract through June, so for now, at least, it’s not paying through the nose to fuel up its buses. 

    But not everyone has the option of turning to public transit, said Yonah Freemark of the Urban Institute. “The majority of Americans live in places where transit access is really poor,” Freemark said.

    These high fuel prices won’t last forever, he said, but the issues they raise will keep coming up, “so we need to give people reliable public transportation options,” he said.

    Freemark said low-income Americans and folks living outside feel it most when transportation costs are high.  


  • 10 Mar 2022 10:32 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Public transit systems straining to win back riders after being crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic are getting a $3.7 billion boost to stay afloat and invest in new fleets of electric buses.

    With mask restrictions fading and workers beginning to return to offices, the Biden administration said Monday it was awarding $2.2 billion in coronavirus relief funding to 35 financially strapped transit agencies in 18 states. The money would be used to prop up day-to-day operations, including staffing and payroll as well as cleaning and sanitization to limit the spread of illness in public transportation. A federal mask mandate for public transit remains in effect until at least March 18.

    Another $1.5 billion in grants will be available under President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law — a total of $7.5 billion over five years — for transit agencies to purchase low- or no-emission buses and build bus facilities. That’s more than double the combined amount from the previous year.

    Transit agencies will have until May to apply for the Transportation Department's infrastructure grants, which will be awarded by fall. About 5% of the money must be used for workforce training to help transit workers prepare for the technological change.

    “We’re making the largest ever investment in this program for buses and bus facilities, helping to deliver better commutes and cleaner air to American communities,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

    Buttigieg was joining Vice President Kamala Harris, who has pushed the need for electric school buses, along with EPA Administrator Michael Regan and other officials at the White House on Monday. They were unveiling efforts to promote green-friendly transit and announcing a proposed rule aimed at reducing emissions from dirty diesel trucks. Transportation is the biggest U.S. contributor to global warming.

    Several transit systems already are moving in the direction of electric buses. California has committed to all-electric bus fleets by 2040, as well as New York City and Boston. Washington, D.C., has set a target of 2045.

    The effort comes at a challenging time for public transit.

    Only about 55% of transit riders nationwide have returned compared with pre-pandemic times, according to the American Public Transportation Association. The biggest losses have been in commuter rail systems serving white-collar suburbanites traveling to downtown workplaces.

    As COVID-19 cases decline, Biden has urged Americans to shed remote work, describing a return to offices as necessary to boost economic growth. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said about 90% of the U.S. population lives in counties where the risk of the coronavirus is posing a low or medium threat, meaning residents don’t need to wear masks in most indoor settings.

    “It’s time for America to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again with people,” Biden said in his State of the Union address.

    Among the recipients of COVID-19 relief funds Monday were big-city transit systems that had been hit hard from revenue losses due to decreased ridership. New York City’s transit system, the nation's largest, garnered $769 million to steady its operations, while San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit got $270 million to bolster service and safety protocols.

    Others receiving grants were the Washington, D.C., metro system at $120 million as it anticipates a return of federal employees to offices and Houston’s public transit at $137 million, which has significantly added rapid transit bus lines.

    “These funds are crucial to avoid drastic service cuts and layoffs that would damage the economy and public health," said Nuria Fernandez, head of the Federal Transit Administration, which oversees the grants.

    At the start of the pandemic, transit agencies cut payroll and slashed services. That came even as essential workers, who are disproportionately nonwhite and lower income, continued to rely on public transportation to get to work. But three rounds totaling nearly $70 billion in federal COVID-19 emergency assistance, including $30.5 billion that Biden signed into law last year, pulled transit agencies from the brink of financial collapse.

    “The COVID funds will be vital to keeping workers connected to their offices, but, even more importantly, the long-term funds in the bipartisan infrastructure bill will provide generational change,” said Paul P. Skoutelas, president of the American Public Transportation Association. He said the money will allow transit systems "to re-evaluate routes and service plans, address equity issues and place more alternative fuels vehicles on the road to help address our global climate crisis.”


  • 10 Mar 2022 8:33 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    New Actions Will Deliver Cleaner Air, Healthier Neighborhoods, and Better Transportation

    Today, Vice President Kamala Harris is announcing major federal actions that will expand clean public transit and school buses, reduce emissions from dirty diesel trucks, and create good-paying jobs. The Biden-Harris Administration will modernize public transit that connects people to their jobs, school, health care, and loved ones, freight trucks and ports that move goods through the American economy, and the iconic American yellow buses that bring children safely to school leveraging investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and American Rescue Plan investments, as well as a new proposed rule that would set heavy-duty vehicle emissions standards. Together, these actions will deliver better transportation for the American people while reducing air pollution that has long overburdened low-income communities and communities of color. They also boost American leadership on the zero-emissions transit, trucking, and port technologies of the future—to create good-paying, union jobs, improve public health, and confront climate change. 

    Heavy-duty vehicles, like buses and trucks, make up nearly one-quarter of all U.S. transportation greenhouse gas emissions, and heavy-duty vehicles are the largest contributor of nitrogen oxides (NOx)—air pollution that is known to cause asthma, heart and lung disease, and other serious respiratory issues. Neighborhoods near highways, ports, and other congested areas are especially impacted by health problems and premature deaths associated with dirty diesel exhaust. These burdens disproportionately impact people of color and low-income households.

    To seize new economic opportunities and address these environmental injustices and climate concerns, while expanding public transit and ensuring efficient delivery of goods, the Administration is announcing a fleet of new and expanded actions to advance clean heavy-duty vehicles, as part of our electric, zero-emissions transportation future:

    • Cleaner , More Convenient Public Transit: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represents the single largest investment in public transit in history.  As part of the historic $5.5 billion expansion of the Low- and No-Emission Transit Vehicle Program, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is announcing $1.1 billion in funding for 2022 and an additional $372 million under the Bus and Bus Facilities program. The Low-No Program helps state and local governments purchase U.S.-built electric transit buses and other cleaner models, to improve local air quality and expand affordable, accessible, transportation options in communities across the country. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law increased Low-No program funding by ten times, compared to the prior five years.  Also, as a result of changes enacted in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the grants will dedicate funding to workforce training that helps protect and upskill transit workers – ensuring that those who work on transit vehicles today are ready to do so in the future. To keep transit workers on the job and transit services running, DOT is also announcing $2.2 billion in funding to 35 transit agencies across 18 states through the American Rescue Plan.
    • Saving Lives, Reducing Emissions: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a proposed rule that would, if finalized, dramatically reduce harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission from heavy- duty vehicles and set stronger greenhouse gas emissions standards for certain heavy-duty vehicle categories. This proposed rule would ensure heavy-duty vehicles and engines are as clean as possible while helping jump-start the transition to zero-emission vehicles in the heavy-duty fleet. When fully implemented, this rule will save roughly 2,000 lives annually, eliminate 18,000 cases of childhood asthma, and lead to 1.1 million fewer missed days of school. 
    • Electrifying School Buses: The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $17 million to fund electric zero-emission and low-emission buses. Through the American Rescue Plan, $7 million is being awarded to replace old diesel school buses in underserved communities with new, zero-emission buses. In addition, $10 million is being awarded to replace old diesel school buses with new cleaner buses through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebate Program. This funding compliments the $5 billion in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for clean school buses, the first tranche of which will become available in the coming months.  
    • Lower Emissions from Ports: The Department of Transportation is using new project eligibilities in the Port Infrastructure Development Program - which is now funded at the highest levels ever through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law - to advance clean port equipment like electric vehicle charging infrastructure for drayage trucks, cargo equipment, and harbor craft. Grant applicants are encouraged to submit projects that reduce emissions, strengthen resilience, improve air quality in fenceline communities, and plan for zero-emission ports of the future.  munities, and plan for the zero-emission ports of the future.
    • Innovation on Clean Trucks of the Future: The Department of Energy is partnering with industry to expand zero-emission truck technology through SuperTruck 3 Program, with the latest round of $127 million in funding focused for the first time on reducing costs and improving durability in hydrogen and battery electric trucks.
    • Leading by Example: The General Services Administration is doubling the amount of  zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicle models available to federal agencies, changing towards 100% zero emission vehicle acquisition by 2035. 

    These steps build upon President Biden’s Executive Order on Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks, which he signed in August 2021 alongside American automakers and autoworkers, launching development of smart fuel efficiency and emissions standards across all vehicles. President Biden and Vice President Harris also secured historic investments in clean transportation through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and American Rescue Plan. The announcement today of $1.1 billion for clean transit buses through the $5 billion Lo-No Program expansion, $17 million for clean school buses, and the ongoing buildout of a national EV charging network will transform bus transit from city centers to rural towns – improving connectivity and quality of life – while contributing to President Biden’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% compared to 2005 levels by 2030.

    Together, today’s actions will:

    Electrify Our Buses
    To accelerate our transition to clean public transit, over $5.5 billion is being infused into the Department of Transportation’s popular Low- and No-Emission Transit Vehicle Program through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – by far the largest ever investment in this program, and ten times larger than the last five years of funding. The Low-No Program helps state and local governments purchase or lease zero-emission and low-emission transit buses and other vehicles and expand or retrofit supporting facilities. These include vehicles that use technologies such as battery electric and fuel-cell power to provide clean, quieter, and more efficient transit service in communities across the country. In 2022, $1.1 billion will be granted to clean and electrify transit buses – representing almost a billion dollars in new investment compared to last year. This comes on top of nearly $2 billion over five years, and $372 million in 2022, provided in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the Buses and Bus Facilities Competitive Program to be used in part for low or no emissions bus projects.  The clean buses purchased by these grants will be made here in the United States, creating manufacturing jobs in places like Minnesota, Alabama, South Carolina, and California.

    Also, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides the first-ever dedicated investment in our transit workforce to support the transition to new clean technologies like battery electric buses.  Five percent of grants under the program – up to $280 million over five years – will be used to fund workforce development training, including registered apprenticeships and other labor-management training programs, to train and upskill transit workers to maintain and operate zero emission vehicles and related charging infrastructure.

    To keep all of these buses running – along with our country’s trains, ferries and other transit services – the Department of Transportation is also announcing $2.2 billion in grants to 35 transit agencies across 18 states. These funds are made available through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and will help public transit agencies pay for day-to-day operations, keep tens of thousands of employees on the payroll, and provide essential transportation services to workers across America.

    The EPA is also moving to deploy more clean school buses – awarding $17 million in rebates to fund electric zero-emission and low-emission school buses. Through the American Rescue Plan, $7 million is being awarded to replace old diesel school buses with new, zero-emission electric buses. These funds are reserved exclusively for school districts in underserved communities, tribal schools, and the private fleets serving those schools. In addition, the EPA awarded $10 million to replace old diesel school buses with new electric, diesel, gasoline, propane, or compressed natural gas buses through longstanding Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebates. Later this year, major new investments funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s new $5 billion clean school bus program will allow EPA to greatly expand the impacts of clean school bus deployment.

    Reduce Truck Emissions, Save Lives
    Today, the EPA announced a proposed rule that would reduce NOx emissions from new trucks by up to 90% by 2031 compared to today’s standards. The current regulations set under the Clean Air Act for trucks were last updated over 20 years ago. However, trucks meeting this standard are still major sources of NOx and other harmful pollutants.

    All traditional truck engines combust fuel which leads to creation of NOx – a harmful pollutant and precursor to the formation of smog and particulates. This pollution makes it difficult to breathe, triggers asthma and other lung diseases and is associated with premature death. These harmful conditions disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color. Without the actions taken today and the resulting shift to low- and zero-emission vehicles, these communities will continue to bear the brunt of these emissions.

    When this rule is fully implemented, there will be numerous benefits to communities around the country, including:

    • Lives Saved: Roughly 2,000 premature deaths avoided and 6,700 fewer hospital and ER visits each year;
    • Healthy School Kids: 18,000 fewer cases of childhood asthma and 1.1 million fewer missed days of school each year;
    • Productive Communities: 78,000 fewer missed days of work each year.

    In addition to strengthening NOx regulations, EPA and DOT are preparing to redouble the Administration’s commitment to zero-emissions trucks by using the upcoming Heavy-Duty GHG Phase 3 Program to set ambitious greenhouse gas and efficiency standards beginning in 2030. Because costs have fallen and state and local policy will drive deployment, zero-emission trucks and buses are entering the market much faster than anticipated when rules were previously set. To account for this, EPA is considering technical updates to its standards for model years 2027 to 2029 to better reflect new levels of market penetration in segments with expected zero-emission vehicle deployment. 

    Clean Our Port Operations
    The ports on our coasts, rivers, and Great Lakes will need to be transformed to eliminate pollution affecting neighboring communities, address climate change, and strengthen supply chain resilience. This includes a focus on reducing emissions from heavy-duty road vehicles and rail that play key roles in port operations.

    The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides the largest investment ever in the DOT’s Port Infrastructure Development Program – with the expansion designed to advance the Administration’s climate and environmental justice goals. Grant applicants are encouraged to submit projects that reduce emissions, strengthen resilience, and improve air quality in fenceline communities. These investments will touch all points of port operations – cleaning cargo handling equipment, harbor craft, and building out needed charging infrastructure for drayage trucks. The program also encourages master planning for port electrification and grid upgrades. In addition, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funded DOT to issue new grants to reduce truck idling and emissions at ports, including through the advancement of port electrification, which will complement other port investments.

    Catalyze Zero Emission Truck Infrastructure
    Through the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Departments of Energy and Transportation are making significant investments in updating the nation’s trucking fleets and freight infrastructure to be cleaner and more efficient.

    To spur investment in zero emission trucks, the Federal Transit Administration, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration, is helping states purchase medium and heavy-duty vehicles through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program. DOE’s Loan Program Office has been given expanded authority for manufacturing of clean medium and heavy-duty on-road vehicles as well as vehicles and components in the aviation, maritime, and rail sectors, pending future appropriations.

    To advance the build-out of our nation’s network of 500,000 EV chargers, DOT’s recent EV charging guidance to states includes eligibility to support charging infrastructure for trucks. Given the unique needs of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, DOE’s Sustainable Transportation offices are studying how to advance clean, affordable hydrogen and electrification corridor solutions to connect ports, highways, and end users, and provide clean freight solutions to move goods and materials from first mile to the last.

    Accelerate Path Towards Zero-Emission Trucks
    Through major advances in zero-emissions technology, clean trucks are becoming cheaper and more readily available. Today, the National Renewable Energy Lab published a study showing that zero emission electric medium and heavy-duty trucks can reach total-cost-of-driving parity with diesel counterparts for many vehicle types this decade and for all trucks by 2035. As technology continues to improve, and more infrastructure is deployed, more and more clean trucks will become cost-effective. That’s good for business and good for the planet.

    In order to continue to drive down costs, the Department of Energy is investing in trucking innovation and next generation clean technologies. In 2009, DOE launched its SuperTruck Initiative to partner with industry to improve heavy-duty truck freight efficiency by 50%. This year, SuperTruck 3 is off to the races with a combined $127 million in funding to industry focused on reducing costs and improving durability in zero-emission hydrogen and battery electric trucks. In addition, its SuperTruck 2 Program is set to conclude this year having developed cost-effective technology that doubles the fuel economy for 18-wheeler trucks.

    Multiple other research projects across government and industry are targeting progress in fuel cell electric trucks, batteries, and freight efficiency, including:

    • Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) – providing a real world environment for testing large battery and fuel cell electric trucks.
    • Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck consortium – developing cost-effective technology with industry for next generation fuel cells.
    • 21st Century Truck Partnership – launching a new electrification tech team focused on removing barriers to wide-scale truck electrification and deploying technology to improve freight efficiency.

    Transform the Federal Truck Fleet
    This Administration is leading by example – acting as an early adopter by transforming its federal fleet of over 110,000 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. [1] Today, federal agencies are able to acquire 38 different models of medium and heavy duty zero emissions vehicles through the General Services Administration – more than double the offerings in fiscal year 2021. The President’s Federal Sustainability Plan, outlined in Executive Order 14057, also calls for 100% of all annual medium and heavy-duty vehicle acquisitions to be zero emissions by 2035.

    The federal government will work with American vehicle, battery, and charging equipment manufacturers and installers to transform its truck fleet. This will accelerate the advancement of America’s industrial capacity to supply zero-emission trucks and electric batteries – creating and sustaining good-paying, union jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and skilled trades. This federal truck transformation complements the Administration’s commitment to 100% zero-emission light-duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027.



  • 3 Mar 2022 2:24 PM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    Expanding public transit options could bring more students from around southeastern Wisconsin to UWM at Waukesha while connecting those already on campus to more work opportunities, some regional business and educational leaders told UW System President Tommy Thompson.

    Southeastern Wisconsin lacks a transportation system that connects people across municipal lines, especially the population hubs of Milwaukee and Waukesha. Robyn Ludtke, vice president of talent development at the Waukesha County Business Alliance, said at a roundtable discussion led by Thompson that transportation is one of the biggest barriers of growth for the county.

    It was the latest in a series of listening sessions that Thompson is holding at UW System campuses across the state as he winds down a nearly two-year-long tenure as interim president.

    “What I really want to hear is ‘What is the need? How can the university solve problems?’” Thompson said Tuesday at the UWM at Waukesha gathering.

    Ludtke and a few others among the roughly 30 attendees cited transportation as one of the biggest needs.

    “We know that once (the students) are here in Waukesha County, our employers are ready to serve them. Our communities are ready to welcome them,” Ludtke said. “How do we get them here?”

    While UWM and other system institutions may not have oversight or capacity to create regional transportation networks, universities can help by way of research and forging partnerships.

    One example is the FlexRide Milwaukee transit project, led in part by UWM, that is funded by a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. FlexRide is testing a new way to connect workers from Milwaukee, including three segregated neighborhoods on the north or northwest sides of the city, to places of employment in Butler and Menomonee Falls.

    Other roundtable attendees included company executives and school district superintendents, some of whom talked about finding ways to increase awareness of higher education to students in high school and even earlier in the K-12 system.

    While virtual outreach and mailings help, some school officials talked about the importance of opportunities to bring K-12 students to college campuses for programming.

    “I do think we need to reimagine that transition in a kid’s life from 10th grade through college,” said Corey Golla, superintendent of the Menomonee Falls School District. “We’ve got kids who are seniors in high school who are probably ready to be freshmen at UW-Milwaukee.”

    Golla applauded UWM for its partnership programs and said his district was talking to the university about more potential dual enrollment opportunities in which students earn college credit while still attending high school.

    UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said he hoped to organize a meeting between university leaders and superintendents in Waukesha and Washington counties to talk more about partnership opportunities. One of the higher-profile educational partnerships at UWM is the  initiative in which the university works with Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Area Technical College.

    Other needs brought up by attendees included making it easier for students at two-year colleges to transfer credits to four-year institutions, and for UWM to offer more options for “badges” or credentialing programs that allow students, including those in mid-career, to earn educational certificates.

    Mone noted how the university was currently looking at curricular realignment through the 2030 initiative, which is intended to guide UWM into the next decade and beyond. Participation in partnerships like M³ and the Higher Education Regional Alliance also are helping to address issues like making it easier for students to transfer credits.

    Another UWM program, TechEd Frontiers, is an example of an offering for mid-career professionals to learn new skills online and on demand. UWM has also helped to address a regional need with the College of Nursing expanding its program to the Waukesha campus in fall 2021.

    Higher education overall has come under scrutiny in recent years over rising costs and the weight of student debt. Estimated enrollment declines caused by shifting demographics, as well as a steady decrease in state support, also are among worrisome issues.

    Thompson pointed to the importance of community feedback to help address concerns.

    “It seems to me this whole afternoon has been about how we can do things better working together – more information, more collaboration and more partnerships,” Thompson said in closing the session.

    “I think the university has to take the lead on this,” he added. “We have to be student-centric. We have to make sure our universities are what students need and want. We have to get them on our campus. We have to go to them. We have to create partnerships.”


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