A combination federal-state grant will put half a dozen new and cleaner buses on the road in Livingston County over the next two fiscal years.

Today, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, or SEMCOG, announced it had awarded over $46 million in federal funds to road and transit agencies throughout the seven-county region as part of the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program for 2019 and 2020. The Livingston Essential Transportation Service or LETS, received more than $424,000 in federal funds, with a 20% state match for a total of $530,136.

Greg Kellogg is the Deputy Director at LETS and tells WHMI that the money will be used to replace a total of six buses, three in Fiscal Year 2019 and three more in Fiscal Year 2020. All of the buses will use propane and replace dirtier-diesel engine buses currently in use. Kellogg adds that one of the buses will also be specially designed for kidney dialysis patients, which will take advantage of a special dialysis route they established this year thanks to a $50,000 contribution from the Livingston County Board of Commissioners.

The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program supports two goals: improving air quality and relieving congestion. SEMCOG administers it for Southeast Michigan and works with eligible road and transit agencies to develop projects that maximize improvements to air quality mainly by reducing vehicles idling and traffic congestion. (JK)