Thursday, October 11, 2018, 12:00PM (ET)

Building an Alternative Fuel Bus Program: Funding Opportunities and Best Practices for Transit Agencies

As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office, Clean Cities coalitions foster the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy security by working locally to advance affordable, domestic transportation fuels and technologies. Nearly 100 coalitions serve as the foundation of Clean Cities by working with community partners to implement alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies to transform local and regional transportation markets.

This webcast will feature a presentation from Tampa Bay Clean Cities Coalition on the coalition’s efforts to expand alternative fuels use and funding opportunities that can be used to offset the cost of alternative fuel buses. The webcast will also feature a presentation from Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) on the agency’s efforts to develop an electric bus program. The presentation will include insights into the planning approaches, challenges, and best practices used to incorporate electric transit buses into an existing fleet. Download Handout

Presenters: Alexander Kolpakov and Austin Marie Sipiora, CUTR; and Jacob Labutka, PSTA

Alexander Kolpakov is a research associate at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida. He has over 15 years of experience in transportation research. During his tenure at CUTR, he has managed a wide variety of transportation-related research projects including evaluating alternative propulsion technologies and fuels, performing economic impact analysis of transportation investment, assessing aviation capital investment and airport security needs, analyzing user rates and fees at public use airports, as well as performing transportation policy analysis. He holds a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor of Science in Management from Chuvash State University.

Austin Marie Sipiora is a faculty research assistant at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida. She has over two years of experience in transportation research, with expertise in alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. During her tenure at CUTR, she has assisted with a variety of clean transportation and alternative fuel projects, including the development of education guidelines for electric vehicle operation and assessment of clean vehicle policies and programs. She also co-manages the Department of Energy-sponsored Tampa Bay Clean Cities Coalition, and works directly with community stakeholders to facilitate petroleum reduction projects in the region.

Jacob Labutka is a transit planner from Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA). He works with a dedicated planning team on a variety of transit projects ranging from route redesigns to planning for electric buses. He oversees PSTA’s zero-emission vehicle program, which has provided funding for up to six electric buses through various sources. He also works on developing innovative transit programs (such as planning for AV deployment and first/last mile services) and assessing their effectiveness at serving existing and potential riders. As PSTA’s designated “Sustainability Champion,” Jacob is responsible for compiling environmental data and expanding the agency’s sustainability program. He is a graduate of Rutgers University where he earned a Master’s in City and Regional Planning.


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  1. Hoping there will be time permitted for Q & A with audience.

    • Hi Phil,
      If you have any questions, please feel free to submit them here. The presenters will provide written answers to any questions not asked during the webinar and they will be posted online for your reference.

  2. Hey! I ran across CUTR’s web-series wondering if USF’s Bull Runner operated on any alternative fuels. Next week’s webcast is our lifeblood (we installed PSTA’s charging infrastructure), and I’m super excited to attend to hear y’alls perspective on building alt-fuel fleets.

    I’d love to grab an attendee’s list from the meeting, and would be a willing sounding board within our organization to offer more insight to any organization considering a transition to alt-fuel vehicles. I’d also love to chat about what y’all are hearing on Florida’s plan for VW Mitigation funding.

    Looking forward to next week. I’d love to see about providing a speaker to host a similar, CNG/RNG-focused alt-fuels webcast (assuming I haven’t missed it)!

    Jake Drake
    (713) 332-4817

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