Federal dollars mean Minnesota transit upgrades


by Conrad deFiebre, September 22, 2009 • Minnesota will reap nearly $2 million in energy-saving transit upgrades under competitive grants awarded today as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the federal stimulus package. Agencies in the Twin Cities and Fergus Falls were among 43 national winners out of more than $2 billion in applications for $100 million in Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) grants.

That’s a small part of the recovery act’s $48 billion infusion for the nation’s transportation infrastructure, $26.5 billion of it obligated so far to more than 8,500 projects nationwide. TIGGER focuses on combining energy savings with positive investment returns, readiness to implement, innovation and broad applicability.

Hindsight is the official blog of Minnesota 2020. Hindsight gives the run down on the news that jumps out at us on the issues that matter. Often times these stories show us how much further we need to go to have the progressive policy realized in Minnesota.

Metro Mobility will receive $1.1 million to replace aging diesel vans with gas/electric hybrid models for its Twin Cities dial-a-ride handicapped transit service. Nonprofit Productive Alternatives will get $845,000  for hybrid vehicle upgrades, wind power and cooking oil biofuel equipment for its Ottertail County transit system.

With its focus on prompt stimulus to reverse the Great Recession — successful, according to the encouraging latest economic indicators — the recovery act hasn’t  emphasized energy efficiency until now. It’s nice to see Minnesota getting in on positive stimulus for the environment, too.