Location: Blue Bell, PA (serving the Delaware Valley)
Fleet Type: Light and Medium-duty Shuttles

 

Narrative

Transnet® is a transit option designed to provide convenient, low-cost transportation. focused on meeting the needs of senior citizens and persons with disabilities. TransNet® serves groups of seniors and persons with disabilities, and contracts with school districts, colleges, and private companies to offer specialized transit services and commuter shuttles. Transnet serves Montgomery County and surrounding counties within Pennsylvania, utilizing various types of shuttle buses, consisting of nearly 300 vehicles, located at 3 separate dispatching locations throughout the county.

Transnet began working on fleet electrification in May of 2022 assessing available options to replace end-of-life vehicles in their fleet.  Their Fleet Director has utilized other alternatives to gasoline and diesel, such as CNG and propane and was eager to try electric shuttles into their fleet.  Their passengers often are people with disabilities including chronic lung disease and asthma patients to doctor and therapy appointments. Utilizing electric shuttles within their fleet offer a zero tail-pipe emission service for many of their riders, providing them a healthy alternative to petroleum run vehicles.

Working with the Eastern Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Transportation (EP-ACT), Transnet had been through many of the EV workshops and ride and drives to finally take the step. In December of 2022 EP-ACT helped Transnet with a grant application to the state for two electric powered shuttle buses that seat 12 ambulatory people.   This grant was funded in March of 2023, and Transnet took possession of two 2023 Electric Ford Transit Mobilitytrans® units.

The addition of the EVs will help lessen its carbon footprint and will displace 8,684 gas gallon equivalents and reduce GHG emissions by 73 tons per year.

These units have been performing well in their designated routes.  Transnet intends on adding additional EV units in 2024. The additional vehicles will help foster a new zero emission department within the fleet.  The next milestone will be the implementation of their wheelchair accessible EV’s to replace their diesel counterparts.

Outputs & Outcomes

The outputs from the Transnet Project are still a work in progress. They are collecting data about the range, conditions, and reliability of using EV’s within their fleet.  GHG’s reduction in the Delaware Valley and for the riders of the shuttle buses daily will be used to predict future outcomes.  This project is the steppingstone to purchase additional EV’s within their fleet.

The outcomes from working with Transnet:

  1. The GHG emission reductions from each vehicle replaced with an EV in their fleet are 36 tons per year.
  2. Vehicles are wrapped bringing awareness to Zero Emission Vehicles
  3. Formation of EV/ Zero-emission Department for fleet vehicles
  4. Demonstration of vehicles to others that want to learn about fleets of EV’s

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

Working with stakeholders or potential stakeholders that have used other alternatives to gasoline and diesel can pay off when introducing electric vehicles to them.  Working with existing stakeholders that serve people with disabilities or elderly patrons is a good target to show the environmental and health advantages that EV’s provide.

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Suburban Transit (Transnet) Fleet Story

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