Project Update: Tec Inc’s Electrified Bus Station projects with LakeTran full-steam ahead
Over the past two years, Tec Inc. Engineering & Design has been working in close collaboration with LakeTran and CT Consultants Inc to bring electrified bus charging stations to two stops along their paths.
The charging station located at Lakeland Community College (Kirtland, OH) is scheduled to open before the end of 2020 with a second location replacing Wickliffe’s Park’n’Ride lot scheduled to open before the end of 2021.
The pair of charging stations will help LakeTran progress towards a more sustainable transportation operation, a longterm goal of Northern Ohio’s premier mass transit service.
Receiving an initial $2.2 million grant, announced by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio in 2018, the innovative project received an additional $1.9 million in funding from the United States Department of Transportation in 2019, giving LakeTran the funds to push the project ahead.
“Laketran is a leader in adopting new technology that reduces emissions and lowers the cost of providing transit service,” Sen. Brown stated in a news release. “This additional investment will help (Laketran) improve service for their riders and help Ohio continue its leadership in developing and deploying the next generation of zero-emission buses.”
Included in the stations themselves are lobby areas, public restrooms, storage areas, and mechanical/electrical rooms, all of which receive heating and cooling services for the comfort of riders.
On the exterior, the bus stations are equipped with an electrified connection in its canopy for the charging of buses.
Additionally, LakeTran is installing provisions for future consumer vehicle fast-charging stations with the intent to further electric vehicle convenience and viability in the area.
With new technology comes opportunities for innovation. The electrified bus stations didn’t come without some tricky solutions navigated by our electrical engineers, who were led by Brandon Sargent, PE, LEED AP BD+C on the project with LakeTran, though Executive Vice President and Director of Engineering, Tim Pool, PE, RCDD played a key role on the project execution.
The design itself did require some electrical engineering navigation, as the complex technology required more than the average installation. The difficult part of this project was, "integrating [electrical conduits] out and into the canopy and up into the actual bus charging apparatus, and making that look good so that the end-user and client were happy with the appearance," Sargent said. "They wanted a nice-looking space."
Wrapping up the Lakeland Community College project and using the knowledge gained there helped push ahead the station on the Wickliffe site. Completion of the pair of stations is key to helping LakeTran continue to expand service throughout Lake County.
Though 2020 has thrown many curveballs, LakeTran continued to grow, actually adding routes for the first time in 20 years. As they continue to grow, they continue to seek ways to reduce carbon emissions.
Fortunately, our staff was able to help provide solutions at the electrified bus stations that could drastically reduce emissions from buses as LakeTran adds more charging stations across the region.
In 2019, a study found that electrified busses reduce emissions by roughly 50%, helping to make the mass transportation industry a more sustainable travel method heading into the future.
WATCH: Project Manager and Senior Electrical Engineer Brandon Sargent talks about Tec Inc.'s project with LakeTran