Mid-City Transit, a Student Transportation of America (STA) company, announced the launch of its electric vehicle (EV) program in Middletown, New York.
“It’s definitely an exciting time for our scholars, school community, Mid-City Transit, and the EV industry,” said Middletown City School District Superintendent Amy Creeden. “We are all happy to see the EV buses in the fleet’s rotation and serving our student routes already. Transportation services are essential in our district and there's something really great about knowing we have seen some early success as a result of the addition of the EV buses. It's only been a few weeks, but the EV buses are proving to be efficient, environmentally friendly, and quieter [than the diesel buses] when driving around our neighborhoods.”
Reducing STA's Carbon Footprint Through EVs
This movement toward EVs is part of the STA’s Green Fleet initiative, currently led by Rachel Lane, STA’s vice president of electrification and sustainability. The company has committed to adding additional EV vehicles to its nationwide fleet to lessen the organization’s impact on the environment.
“I am thrilled to see Mid-City Transit’s forward momentum toward zero emissions and of course, the state of New York’s continued support for a greener future. The Middletown City School District has been a great partner throughout this project, and we share the same goals when it comes to sustainability and progress,” Lane said. “EV buses not only help to reduce harmful pollutants from affecting the environment, but they also bring significant cost savings from operations, maintenance, and fuel perspective. There’s a lot of good that comes out of EV adoption, and we’re thrilled to see Middletown benefit from that.”
The initiative, which required more than $1 million in upgrades, new buses, and related infrastructure in Middletown, was funded through a combination of company investment and a grant from the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program. The program awarded STA a grant of $800,000 in late 2022 to purchase four new EVs. Mid-City Transit was selected to receive the vehicles and its maintenance teams have already been trained in EV maintenance. Chargers have also been installed at the terminal.
“Over the last year, STA has made steady progress rolling EV buses out into new markets and we are investing in the communities we serve,” Lane added. “We’re not slowing down either. We’re actively identifying new markets, finding District partners that are willing to advocate for EV, and collaborating with our partners like Mid-City Transit to explore grant and funding opportunities that can support infrastructure updates. We’re optimistic that Middletown will find success with EV and it’s a great milestone to celebrate.”
Lane’s team will now track battery life, monitor component life, and collect other key data as the electric buses service Middletown’s routes. With electric fleets planned for additional urban, suburban, and rural areas, this information will give the company actionable intelligence into the performance of EVs in distinct operating environments.
To date, STA has steadily rolled out alternative-fuel vehicles, including 20 electric buses and 2,900 propane buses. The company has received a Green Fleet magazine Sustainability All-Star Award for its leadership in the space. Through the help of grants, incentive projects, strategic partnerships, and investments, STA plans to continue to expand its electric bus initiative into additional markets in the coming months.
Partnering with Utilities to Update Infrastructure
A regionally based company, Elm Electric, in collaboration with Orange and Rockland Electric Utility, provided Mid-City Transit and the Middletown City School District support with the infrastructure updates, including installing the EV charging stations at the terminal. Middletown-based Fusco Engineering and Land Surveying provided the survey for the second phase of infrastructure development.