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Webinar: Ride Electric: The Importance of Multimodal Transportation (Text Version)

This is a text version of Webinar: Ride Electric: The Importance of Multimodal Transportation, presented on Dec. 5, 2023.

Bridget Gilmore, Joint Office of Energy and Transportation: Give you an update on some recent resources. We'll have presentations from our panelists' panel discussion. And then some audience Q&A. For Mission and Vision for the Joint Office, our mission is to accelerate an electrified transportation system that is affordable, convenient, equitable, reliable, and safe. And we hope to see a future where everyone can ride and drive electric come to fruition.

We are supporting four programs through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The NEVI program. This is the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program. It's $5 billion to build out fast charging along corridors. And there's the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary program. $2.5 billion for discretionary funding in communities and along corridors.

We are also supporting the Low-No Emissions Grants Program for transit bus deployment, which we'll hear much more about today from Kevin. And also, the Clean School Bus Program, which we will hear more about from Tory. So excited to hear from our presenters some updates on these programs.

In terms of the Joint Office technical assistance, we provide specialized assistance for states, communities, tribal nations, transit agencies, and school districts. We conduct one-on-one meetings with states. We have a great concierge service as well as a wonderful technical assistance team. We are here to answer any questions you may have.

We have some great new resources on our website under You can find toolkits, forecast, reports, help sheets, and checklists that may be useful for your work as you're deploying any sort of infrastructure in your community. We also have some great resources that I want to make sure to point you all to. We just launched We'll call it 2.0. There are a lot of great resources here now, and we're going to be continuing to build out this site. So, a really great place to check out particularly on this type of content from the webinar.

As well as a new page on communities. So, this is specialized technical assistance for communities for deploying zero emission infrastructure. This is our contact form, so please do reach out and get in touch with us. We will get back to you really, really shortly. 48-hour response. And we welcome any sort of general questions and feedback as well.

So now I will pass it along to our wonderful executive director to provide some introductory remarks. So over to you, Gabe.

Gabe Klein, Joint Office of Energy and Transportation: Well, thank you so much, Bridget. And can you guys hear me, OK? Great.

Katy Burgio, senior program manager, New York City Housing Authority: Yeah.

Gabe Klein: So, thanks to everybody who's joining us today for this important webinar on Ride Electric, the Importance of Multi-Modal Transportation. We have an awesome lineup of speakers today who are going to discuss strategies for communities, cities, and states when deploying EV charging across all modes of travel, not just limited to single occupancy vehicles. So, from transit and school buses, to micromobility options, like bicycles, e-scooters, and shared fleets.

This is a topic that I'm extremely passionate about. Knowing that we need to make our transportation system not only convenient and clean, but also more efficient. And we need to give better access to people so that everybody doesn't need to feel like they need to make a capital investment in their own transportation. So, we need active mobility, public transportation, and we need a safe way for our children to get to school or safe ways.

Today, we will hear from speakers who are working tirelessly to make this vision of the future a reality. And I'm excited that two of the people that we'll hear from today are key members of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation team, Debs Schrimmer, our amazing senior advisor for community and urban charging. Deb will present our new strategy, our new 2.0 strategy. And how the Joint Office is focused on supporting a future where everyone can ride and drive electric.

And Abby Brown, our also awesome technical assistance lead for school bus and transit work, who hails from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It will also be great to get an update from Kevin Osborn at the FTA on the current status of the Low-No program and how transit agencies are transitioning their fleets to zero and low emission buses. And we will hear from Tory Coffin from the EPA Clean School Bus Program to provide an update on how the program is transitioning our nation's school bus fleet.

Additionally, we will hear from some of the great work happening on the ground at the New York Housing Authority from Katy Burgio. They're working to provide safe and convenient storage and charging areas for micromobility devices like e-bikes and e-scooters. And Debs and were just talking before this about how excited we were about that program.

And we're also going to hear from Jon Hunter from the American Lung Association on the EV car sharing program, which is really awesome. I'm excited to hear about this. This is in the Twin Cities. And all electric free floating carshare service with over 170 shared vehicles. Just a side note, this is one of the funded projects from the Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office portfolio to advance alternative fuels. We call them VTO. We work with them a lot. They're awesome. And they have a long history in investing in community projects deploying EVs and EV charging equipment, including this project. And we love hearing about the change that these investments have created.

So with that, I will turn it back over to you, Bridget. And thanks to all of our speakers and panelists today for giving your time.

Bridget Gilmore: Thanks so much. Can you hear me still?

Gabe Klein: You're good.

Bridget Gilmore: Awesome. Thank you so much for those wonderful remarks, Gabe. We will now just launch two quick polling questions. These are just to make sure we've reached our audience across the country. And just curious to see who is in the room today. So the first question, if you could take a moment to answer. We are just interested to hear what sector you're coming from today. Just a generalized category. So pick the one that best fits you. We can see as those answers are rolling in. Once we reach a critical point, we can show everyone the results.

OK, great. Looks like we've got a lot of folks from the EV industry here today, as well as across different forms of government. Great. Thanks so much. Appreciate you all for being here. I will now launch our second polling question, which is just wondering what region of the country you're coming from.

We can launch our second one if it's working. Technology is with us today, which it has not been for me.

Haylee May, National Renewable Energy Lab: Apologies, Bridget. It will not launch.

Bridget Gilmore: OK, no problem. Hopefully we've reached people across the country. Thank you all again so much for being here. We'll get the show on the road. And I will now introduce our wonderful panelists that have joined us today. So I'll start off by introducing Debs Schrimmer, who is our senior advisor for community and urban charging at the Joint Office. Previously, she was a director at Lyft, where she oversaw policy research and development for the company's Micromobility Division. She also partners with cities on innovative street design and curb management strategies and established the first rideshare partnerships with transit agencies in the country. Prior to Lyft, she was working as a digital policy specialist at Code for America and as a transportation planner at the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

We also have Katy Burgio, who is a senior program manager at New York Housing Authority's or NYCHA's sustainability team. Katy leads a team focused on implementing goals outlined in the NYCHA sustainability agenda and delivering key demonstration projects that change the urban realm at NYCHA, like pneumatic waste collection at the Polo Grounds Towers, micromobility charging and storage, and hoist collected curbside waste containers. Very interesting work.

We are also joined by Jon Hunter, who is a senior director at the Clean Air Program at the American Lung Association, which is the host organization for both Minnesota Clean Cities Coalition and North Dakota Clean Cities. He has worked on clean fuel and vehicle technologies issues since the beginning of the Lung Association back in 2010. His experience has included infrastructure development, vehicle deployment, project facilitation, and providing technical assistance to fuel retailers, vehicle fleets, community-based organizations, and other project partners.

He also oversees Minnesota's participation in the Clean Cities Energy and Environmental Justice Initiative. We're also joined by Abby Brown, who is a project leader at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and served for almost two years as the technical assistance lead for school and transit bus deployment at the Joint Office. In this role, Abby led the technical assistance that's being provided at the Joint Office for EPA's Clean School Bus Program and FTA's low emission vehicle programs awarded fleets. And Abby currently leads the technical assistance that's being provided by NREL for the Joint Office.

We are also joined by Tory Coffin, who is a program analyst with EPA's legacy fleet incentives and assessment branch on the Clean School Bus Planning and Implementation Team. She supports clean school bus program communications, outreach, and program development. And she has a bachelor's in geography and environmental studies with a minor in GIS from UCLA. And we are also joined here today by Kevin Osborn from the Federal Transit Administration to talk about the Low-No program.

So thank you all so much for joining us. I'll now pass it over to you, Debs, to kick us off on some of the work that we're doing at the Joint Office.

Debs Schrimmer, senior advisor, community and urban charging, Joint Office: Great. Thanks so much, Bridget, and thanks, everyone, for being here today. Let's move on to the next slide, please. Great. So as Bridget mentioned, here at the Joint Office, our mission is really to make it possible for everyone to ride and drive electric. And the way that we think about that is really grounded in a foundational strategy that was released earlier this year called the US National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization.

And this is a really exciting plan, because it takes a whole of government approach. It brings together multiple departments– the Department of Energy, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency. And it lays a strategy for cutting all greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by 2050. And this blueprint really codifies how transportation policy is deeply integrated into housing and energy policy. And that solving the climate crisis and providing clean, equitable, and affordable transportation options means bringing everyone to the table.

So in this strategy, you'll see there's three main pillars– convenient, efficient, and clean. And I think that this is a really important framing, because it shows that we can't hit our decarbonization goals by solely focusing on transitioning to just zero emission vehicles and fuels. We have to work upstream to make more efficient options and get more people into fewer vehicles and make it convenient for people to take other modes. So if we really want to hit those climate goals and build an equitable transportation network, then our electrification strategy has to be more than this current transportation network in converting all the vehicles on the road into electric cars. But thinking about a whole suite of options, which is where our ride and drive electric strategy comes in.

Research from the US Department of Transportation shows that over half of all trips taken in this country are less than three miles, which is a perfect distance to be taken by a suite of car-free and car-like options, such as electrified shared mobility modes, like car share, and micromobility, which we'll hear about later on this panel. Next slide, please.

Great. Next, I want to provide some context on housing in this country and how that shapes how we think about our ride electric strategy. This is important because as we look at early trends in electric vehicle car adoption so far in this country, we've seen uptake to be strongly correlated with folks living in single family homes, which is largely due to household wealth as well as access to home charging through a garage.

And if we really want to be able to help everyone ride and drive electric and continue to push the electrification adoption curve, we have to think about people that may not be able to own an EV and charge at home. Likely due to living in multifamily housing or being a renter. So multifamily homes are a really big part of the US housing supply. Research suggests there's almost 44 million residential multifamily homes, including apartments, condos, townhomes, and mixed use developments. And about 60% of apartment households do not own a vehicle.

With multifamily housing, parking spaces might be limited or communal, which can make it really challenging to charge. At the same time, renters may also face barriers in being able to actually even add an electric vehicle charger. Lower income residents also may not be able to afford a car, and other residents may simply choose to not own a car due to living in a dense neighborhood with good alternatives.

So this is where the importance of Ride Electric comes in. And in this panel, we're going to explore a variety of electrified modes that help people get around, such as e-bikes, carshare, public transit, and school buses. Then we'll have a bit of back and forth with the discussion and have an open Q&A. So with that, let's get started with Katy and NYCHA.

Katy Burgio: Hey, everyone. Can you hear me fine? Great, OK. So I'm going to talk about what is NYCHA and our work in micromobility. Can you go to the next slide?

So NYCHA is the largest housing authority in this country. We house 1 in 16 New Yorkers, which is approximately or on record more than 500,000 people in the city of New York. We span all five boroughs, as illustrated in this very condensed map. And our housing stock represents more than 7% of New York City residential buildings. We also manage more than 2,200 acres of land throughout the city, which is a luxury that many other property managers don't have in New York City. But we have space to work with and think about our infrastructure, and how do we provide better infrastructure for our residents to make sure they're safe and living a life just like any of the rest of us?

So New York City and NYCHA has been working towards different sustainability goals. And you can go to the next slide. In 2016, we published a sustainability agenda that really outlined what our sustainability goals are. Mapping out energy reduction goals, green infrastructure installations. How do we plan for climate change and resiliency? And establishing a waste management plan. So really preliminary. And actually we had found that by the end of 2020, we had met a lot of the goals outlined in our 2016 agenda. And so we created a new one in 2021 that really doubled down on some of these efforts and expanded our opportunities.

Looking at reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, really decarbonizing a lot of our buildings. Doing more resiliency planning and green infrastructure work with our Department of Environmental Protection that funds a lot of these programs. Growing our workforce development programs, particularly since there's a focus from the federal government on green jobs. How do we define green jobs, both within New York City, but also specifically for our residents, and how do we train them to get there and do solar installations, like we have pictured on our 2021 sustainability agenda? And re-envisioning our waste management infrastructure.

And so actually, none of this really addressed micromobility or mobility. And this is an emerging field for us. And I mentioned all of these to say that we have expanded our purview recently, because this has become a really pertinent issue for our residents. And it is part of decarbonization efforts for the city overall. But not previously really considered as a part of NYCHA's work. So you can go to the next slide.

This has become a really big issue for us recently. Actually yesterday, someone lost their life in the Bronx because of an electric bike battery. That was a 17th or 18th death I think in New York City this year from e-mobility devices. And so it is a really urgent issue for New York City and particularly for NYCHA, since many of these incidents have happened in our housing units.

And so there's a lot of text on this slide and on some of the future slides. But there's a lot of information really coming up in New York City about, how do we address this urgent need for safe charging infrastructure? And specifically since we know that our residents either use it for work or use it to commute to work, we want to make sure that we can enable folks to continue to use electric micromobility devices while providing them with safe housing. So you can go to the next slide.

So we are planning to install 173 micromobility charging and storage stations across 53 of our developments, which is only about a sixth of our total development count, but represents more than 50% of the population. We're really targeting our largest developments to do this at first, and really trying to meet the urgent need for infrastructure that we have.

So we applied to the U.S. DOT FTA RAISE grant earlier this year and was awarded $25 million to do this installation. We're really excited and have been working very closely with folks at the regional office at FTA to move ahead with this grant and get the money to do this work. We've also been meeting with residents and hearing really critical feedback from them on preferences for placement and the need for this infrastructure. So it's great to have that reinforced by folks who are experiencing these fires and are concerned about them.

We're also working with our utility provider Con Edison to do a pilot. And it got started a little bit before the RAISE application. So we're really excited to be able to learn from a pilot before we go into this larger installation. And that will be at four developments. It is fully funded by our utility provider Con Edison. And we'll really get to see the different options available to residents and get feedback on placement location and what works well in terms of payment structures. You can go to the next slide.

And so I'm not going to read through all of this. But one of the highlights, some of the items that we had called out specifically in our RAISE grant application on how this is beneficial for NYCHA residents and New York City residents overall and for folks on this call to think about when you're applying to other grants, what are things that FTA or the DOT is looking at in their proposals, and that we were able to successfully get a grant money for. There are really key issues on quality of life and community connectivity that is really easy to see for NYCHA residents. And that we can continue to emphasize and request more money for, since we're only covering a fraction of our development so far, so just wanted to share some of this and happy to talk through more. But grateful to be working with the FTA and DOT on this, and excited to hear from other folks. Thanks.

Jon Hunter, senior director, Clean Air Program, American Lung Association: Thanks, Katy. That was really interesting. We have some partners thinking about very similar things, so I'm happy to know who to go to now. So again, my name is Jon Hunter. I am a senior director of clean air at the American Lung Association. And we are a host organization for the Minnesota Clean Cities Coalition.

So I'm going to be talking a little bit about a project to provide electric vehicle carsharing in St. Paul and Minneapolis. So next slide, please. So as was mentioned, this project is partially funded by the US Department of Energy's Vehicle Technology Office, with an award that came to us in 2020 that has three different elements to it. The EV car sharing system is a free-floating one way car sharing system that features 170 electric vehicles in its fleet. The cars are leased by the city of St. Paul, and the system is managed by HOURCAR, a non-profit organization here locally.

Partners also received funding from the Department of Transportation's Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Program for some of the vehicle costs. Our car has long offered around trip return to base style car sharing system with conventional vehicles. But for this project, they worked with the cities and other partners to both incorporate electric vehicles into the fleet and to make the system more flexible for drivers at the same time, as well as expand the size and the impact that it has.

To power the vehicles, we're also deploying 70 curbside charging locations in the EV spot network. At each location, there's charging for car sharing vehicles and for the public. And then the third element of the project is EV car sharing at multifamily sites. And this uses a little bit different model of car sharing, where it's a return to base model for car sharing. But again, it's designed, then, for ease of residents at primarily affordable housing locations.

Xcel Energy is our local utility. And it's been a large partner in providing all the infrastructure and the power supply needed for all of this work. And so the next few slides are going to go through where we've been so far and how things are going. So next slide, please.

So this is a quick look at really how the EV spot sites are designed. As you can see, there are two pieces of charging equipment. One is designed for the car sharing system and can do two cars at a time. The other one, and this is designed for use by the public and the curbside locations. A small number of the sites will also have some DC fast charging equipment when that gets fully implemented.

Part of the intention of this design as a location this way was to help create kind of an instant demand for the investment in the infrastructure as it was going in. So it'll create an instant return on investment by pairing it with the car sharing service and knowing there'd be instant demand as public got used to having the charging infrastructure available in the communities around them, so.

On the next slide, we'll see a map of what the free-floating car sharing system looks like across Minneapolis and St. Paul. So everywhere inside this green zone is the free-floating territory where members can pick up or drop off a vehicle. They can't take vehicles outside of the area. They just have to bring it back in before they end their sessions.

For the car sharing system, people can rent a vehicle by the minute, by the hour, or by the day. The dots on the map show the EV spot locations as they're going in. These are designed to be near existing transit lines, as well as a lot of them are really designed to be within easy walking distance in the higher population density communities. Drivers can return the vehicles anywhere inside this vehicle that's legal to park– or inside the territory that's legal to park. But there is a small credit that gets attributed to them if they return it to one of the charging hubs and successfully plug it in. So that can help be charging for the next users. Membership in the car sharing system pays for fuel and insurance and all the costs and expenses that come with using a vehicle to begin with.

So on the next slide, I think we can look at how charging sessions are going so far as we've been building this system out in the last couple of years. So this really shows the growth of charging sessions have been going on. The green bars are what's been used by the electric vehicle car sharing system. And the blue amounts are for the public use. Both have been growing over time. For the most part, most sites tend to average just a little bit more use for the car sharing system than the public. But we've been really happy with how both have really been expanding over time.

Looking at the car sharing system, we've now surpassed 160,000 trips with it and 1.6 million miles. 100,000 of those trips and a million of those miles have occurred this year alone. So it's really been taking off. The blue bars show on this chart are to show the number of trip counts for users who are using the income qualified rate-based plan. So there is a rate that is available to people who qualify as under an income limited plan.

So 40% of the trips that have been occurring by drivers on that income qualified plan. 38% of the trips are drivers who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color. And then 13% of trips are both income qualified and people who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color. So overall, the results so far, Gabe talked about liking results. So overall, we're talking about a savings of 5,600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and $16 million in transportation costs.

So the next slide just shows a little bit about how the growth in the multifamily side has been occurring. So again, this pilot project has been launching and we've been adding more and more locations as equipment gets installed. All of the initial sites were affordable housing complexes, and the vehicles are available to rent either by residents or other community members in the surrounding areas.

But we've seen good growth in this, and we have a number of other new sites that are in development to bring on as the system continues to expand. And the last slide here for me, it talks about what comes next. So earlier this year, Secretary Granholm came to our office to announce a new round of funding. The project is going to be working with four community councils on outreach and engagement on the East side of St. Paul to identify new charging locations to meet community needs and respond to where they would like to see development occur.

There will also be five new charging locations that will be going along a bus rapid transit line. There will also– based along that bus rapid transit line that, again, will be dedicated for that return to base type style where people are getting off the bus or in the community can borrow one of those cars and return them back to that base to get going. So the last slide has my contact information. And I look forward to answering questions as we come.

Bridget Gilmore: OK, thank you so much, Jon. Now we will pass it over to Abby Brown.

Abby Brown, technical assistance lead for school bus and transit, National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Great. Thanks, Bridget. Can everybody hear me OK? All right.

Bridget Gilmore: Sounds good.

Abby Brown: Next slide, Bridget. So Bridget went over the immediate term priorities of the Joint Office earlier today. But wanted to provide just a quick refresher about why we're talking about electric school and transit bus technical assistance today. So the Joint Office was directed through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to provide technical assistance for both the Federal Transit Administration's Low-No Emissions Grant Program and the EPA's Clean School Bus Program.

So that's why we're all here today. And just wanted to– I guess, next slide– show that we are partnering with– the Joint Office is partnering with the EPA and the FTA and DOE to provide technical assistance for these programs. Next slide.

So just a little bit of background on the history of technical assistance that we've been providing for DOE, just to frame the discussion today. So DOE has had long-standing programs and history of providing technical assistance for over 30 years through the Clean Cities Coalition Network, which Jon is part of, with over 20,000 stakeholders nationwide. And NREL has actually provided technical support, including on data and tools and resources throughout that entire time.

And our technical team is composed of industry experts that have been providing answers to technical questions about alternative fuels for years, including providing technical problem solving to overcome obstacles. And the technical assistance being provided and offered by the Joint Office is just an extension of that work. Next slide.

So before I dive into the technical assistance that the Joint Office and NREL are providing, I just wanted to, again, frame the discussion with a little bit of background on our extensive history in clean school bus technical assistance and clean bus technical assistance. So we have almost two decades of experience providing technical assistance for clean transit and school buses. And not only do we proactively provide resources and planning based on the anticipated needs of fleets, but we're also really good at providing that reactive assistance and problem solving when technical issues arise.

We understand that hands on assistance that's unique to each transit agency or school bus fleet is really a key part of what's needed with clean bus technical assistance. Next slide. So we're excited to build upon all of that extensive history and clean bus technical assistance to offer the technical assistance concierge services for the FTA and the EPA. So school districts or transit fleets that are currently receiving funds from either of these programs or who are planning to apply for future rounds of funds are eligible to receive technical assistance from the Joint Office. This is a free service available to school and transit fleets. And the goal here is really to provide school and transit agencies with the knowledge, tools, and information needed to successfully plan for and deploy clean buses. Next slide.

So this is just a little bit how to reach us. Eligible entities can request assistance by filling out the online contact form on or by emailing one of these email addresses on the screen. When you email us, you'll receive an initial response back from our technical assistance team within 48 hours. Of course, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. And then depending on the type of technical assistance needs, either key resources and information will be provided, or we may follow up with a subject matter expert and loop them in to provide more in-depth technical assistance as appropriate and schedule follow-on meetings, hands-on site visits, things like that. Next slide.

So I wanted to briefly share some examples of how we can help. In the interest of time, I won't read through all of these. But there are some examples on this slide, and I'll go into a few specifics on the following slides. But essentially, the Joint Office technical assistance team is prepared to help with all of these topics. We've received requests that have ranged from general inquiries to detailed and ongoing fleet and infrastructure analysis projects. And the things here are meant to be a sampling of things that we can help, but by no means is meant to be all inclusive. Next slide.

But a couple of trending topics like that would be interesting to highlight, things that we're hearing a lot of right now. Specifically things like infrastructure needs for charging. Also route analysis, planning for electric buses on your routes, how to work with electric utilities, coming into the cold weather months of the year. We're hearing a lot on cold weather considerations and things to be mindful of with operations and cold weather. And then also planning for a 100% electric fleet. And the good thing is that we have created resources or presented webinars that are addressing a lot of these topics, which allows us to help fleets with these questions really quickly. And I'll talk a little bit more about one of those new resources on the next slide.

So because we have heard so many questions on routing, we developed this new spreadsheet tool to assist with those. The electric school bus route analysis tool was developed to assist school districts in determining the bus energy usage and charger power needs for their unique routes. The tool was presented recently on an EPA webinar on November 2nd, and the link there for the recording is on this slide.

But since the webinar, we've shared it with numerous school districts. We've also seen a lot of interest from third party contractors who are either operating buses or assisting school districts with fleet planning. And we're currently recording an instructional video to be posted on along with the spreadsheet. So it's not online yet if you're looking for it. But if you do want it or want some help utilizing it, you can contact the Clean School TA at for the tool and then more information in the meantime. But that should be posted online very soon.

And then the last slide here, just wanted to highlight an example of an in-depth technical assistance request that we've done. So specifically, where we're currently providing an in-depth technical assistance for a Low-No funded fleet that happens to be one of the largest transit agencies in the country, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. And MTA specifically requested assistance with planning for a 100% electric bus fleet. They wanted help utilizing existing planning tools for estimating electric bus energy needs and grid impacts. Also how to prioritize depot locations for solar and storage projects and advice on extreme weather concerns with their bus depots, especially related to hot weather.

And NREL's analysis using our EVI edges and EVI en suite tools has provided New York MTA optimal battery and solar design as well as a life cycle cost and resilience analysis for one of their major bus depots. And we do plan on publishing findings there very soon. But that is all for me. And now I believe passing it over to FTA, to Kevin.

Kevin Osborn, Division Chief, Urbanized Area Division, Federal Transit Administration: Great. Thank you, Abby.

Abby Brown: Sure.

Kevin Osborn: Good afternoon. I'm Kevin Osborn. I'm the acting division chief in FTA's urbanized area division, part of Office of Program Management. One of our responsibilities is the bus and bus facilities program along with the Low or No Emission Grant Program. And today, I would just like to talk about the Low or No Emission Grant program FY24 NOFO. Next slide, please.

As you can see here, the Low or No Program supports the transition of nations transit fleet to the lowest polluting. Most energy efficient transit vehicles by supporting the purchase or lease of zero emission, no emission transit buses, and the acquisition construction and leasing of required supporting facilities. As you can see here, under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, there is approximately $1.1 billion authorized in funding from FY 22 to 26. So as you know, once we have a full year's budget, then we'll be able to announce our program.

But another thing I'd like to mention is as far as the Bus and Bus Competitive Program, our additional program also provides funding for Low and No projects. And a lot of times, we will have a lot of projects that will meet the Low or No requirements that are funded out of our bus and bus facilities program, too. So there's approximately $370 up to $412 million depending on the year from FY 22 to 26. So we have the $1.1 million plus an additional approximately $394 million and FY24 for Low and No emission projects. And then all these totals, of course, doesn't account for any oversight or takedowns for OIG. Next slide, please.

So here, it just talks about previous year's projects. Overall request and project selections. As you know, the program is always oversubscribed, with only 40% of the eligible projects selected for funding last year alone. Just for the Low-No program, we had 210 eligible project proposals with the entire Low-No and Bus and Bus Facility Program, I believe, it was 435 applications. And then we had over $4.2 billion in federal requests for just the Low-No program. And that was from 42 states, one territory, and the District of Columbia.

We selected 83 Low and No emission projects. $1.2 billion in federal funding from 39 states and one territory in the District of Columbia. And this basically approximately will put 600 zero emission buses on the road. Next slide, please. So real quick, I'll talk about timeline and how it looks for FY 24 Low-No NOFO. So the key dates of the competition are once we do have the enactment of a full year's budget, FTA will publish NOFO within 30 days of the full year budget becoming available. That's based on statute.

Next. Once the NOFO is publicized, NOFOs are typically publicized for 60 to 90 days. Once the NOFO closes, FTA must announce project selections within 75 days of the NOFO closure. And that's also based in statute. And then we will announce project selections. Next slide, please.

And as part of the bipartisan infrastructure for FY 24, it continues the partnership provision. So applicants may include partnerships with other entities that intend to participate in the implementation of the project. If they are selected, the project will be deemed satisfactory, will deem to satisfy the competitive procurement requirements. The next provision is the zero emission fleet transition plan. And all zero emission applications are statutorily required to submit a zero emission fleet transition plan that includes six elements identified in law.

Next, there's a zero emission workforce development provision that all zero emission applications are statutorily required to use 5% of the requested zero emission federal amount for zero emission workforce development activities. Unless they're able to explain why less funding is needed. And then finally, there's still the 25% set aside for low emission projects other than zero emission vehicles and related facilities.

And then currently, FDA is aware of the issues with some of the zero emission bus manufacturing industry. And we're working on right now some of the appropriate ways to strengthen our bus procurement customization priorities for the NOFO and how to address those moving forward. So next slide, please.

Thank you. This is my contact information. I look forward to any questions.

Bridget Gilmore: Great. Thank you so much. And now we have Tory.

Tory Coffin, program analyst, EPA Clean School Bus Planning and Implementation team: Thank you. Hi, everyone. My name's Tory Coffin, and I'll give a very brief overview of EPA's Clean School Bus Program and our current funding opportunity. The next slide. So the Clean School Bus Program was created under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, as was mentioned earlier, and provides EPA with $5 billion over five years to fund the replacement of existing school buses with zero emission and low emission school buses.

Purpose of this program is to fund clean school bus replacements that result in producing either zero or low tailpipe emissions, compared to their older diesel predecessors. And to date, EPA has offered both rebates and grants in the past clean school bus funding opportunities. We are currently offering another round of rebate funding, the 2023 rebate program, which is our third funding program to date. And I'm going to give a very brief overview of that in the next slide.

Oh gosh, I'm sorry that the text is a little bit wonky on this slide. But more information can be found on our website. The 2023 Clean School Bus Rebate Program is currently accepting applications. Under this funding opportunity, we plan to award at least $500 million in funds to fund the replacement of replacing internal combustion engine buses with zero emission compressed natural gas and/or propane school buses.

We also will be funding the purchase and installation of electric vehicle supply equipment for those that are requesting funding for electric school buses. And as in previous clean school bus funding opportunities, we will be prioritizing applications that are serving high need local education agencies, tribal school districts funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or those receiving basic support payments for students living on tribal land, in addition to rural areas.

We are committed to continuing to deliver on the Justice 40 Initiative. So you can find a lot more information about this funding opportunity on our Clean School Bus website. And we are accepting applications for the program until January 31st of 2024. So the next slide.

We also just want to take a moment to note the recent IRS tax credits that some of our program selectees may be eligible for as they apply to their awarded bus and infrastructure purchases. So mainly, the Commercial Clean Vehicle Credit, which provides up to $40,000 for qualified commercial clean vehicles, as well as the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credits, which provides up to $100,000 for qualified charging and refueling infrastructure. So EPA cannot give tax advice, but we highly recommend referring to the guidance on the IRS website for additional information about these tax credits. How you might be eligible and how you can take advantage of them.

Additionally, the EPA Clean School Bus Program actually just concluded in a webinar with IRS on these tax credits. So you can find the recording and the slides on our website in the coming days as well. To the next slide. Apologies, this slide is also a little bit wonky. But in summary, we are accepting applications for our 2023 rebate program through January 31st of 2024. We have a few remaining 2023 rebate webinars that we'll be hosting. You can register for those on our web page, as well as view the recordings to prior webinars, which we've hosted several of which with the Joint Office on some technical assistance topics.

Like I mentioned, the Clean School Bus Program has both rebates and grants. So we highly encourage interested school districts to think through which of the two funding structures best suits their needs. We also anticipate opening a grant program in spring of 2024, so stay tuned for that. And then lastly, we have a few different help lines that are highlighted here. We have the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation help line, which provides technical assistance, support, and is linked on this slide.

We also have just a Clean School Bus Program help line, also linked on this slide for programmatic questions, which is And that's really the best place to reach out for any Clean School Bus Program questions. So with that, thank you, and I will pass it back to Bridget. These are a couple of reference slides that I had. So we can skip through them and revisit them if they come up in the Q&A.

Bridget Gilmore: OK, sounds great. Sorry, just managing all of my technical difficulties that persist. I can invite everybody to turn their videos back on, and I will pass it to Debs to facilitate some questions for the panel, if that works for you, Debs.

Debs Schrimmer: Sounds good. And I just first want to thank all of the panelists. This was really interesting, spotlighting, one, the wide range of electrified mobility options that we think about at the Joint Office when we talk about riding electric, and also showcasing what's happening at different levels of government. And no pun intended, but how things really plug-in at the different levels. I think it's hopefully really helpful for folks on the call to hear at the federal level where are there different funding opportunities. And for those folks implementing on the ground, what do these programs look like? What are the challenges? What are the opportunities?

So with that, I'd love to dive in to the discussion. I think to start, we are the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. So we've been talking a lot about different types of electrified transportation options, and I'd like to bring in the energy focus here. So I think this might be a question for Abby, Katy, and Jon. Can you talk to us a little bit about how you think about engaging utilities in your different electrification and electrified mobility programs? We know that that engagement with utilities is really critical, and we know that that engagement early on is essential. But what does that look like? What should folks know when it comes to working with your utilities?

Abby Brown: I guess I can kick us off. Or Katy, did you want to?

Katy Burgio: Go for it.

Abby Brown: OK, great. So from a bus perspective, we really encourage fleets that we work with to contact their utility very early in the process. This is one of the first things that we suggest, because so much of what needs to be done when you're going electric, of course, involves your electric utility. And we actually have a lot of really good tips and resources on this topic and encourage anyone who has questions, wants more information, or even if you need help getting in touch with your electric utility, to reach out to us.

One new resource that we have is this Utility Planning Form, which you can find on But it is a form to– it's a spreadsheet tool, actually, to assist school bus fleets in organizing your site information to share with your utility and your charging station provider. But again, it's just a really important topic across the board. But I'm sure others will talk more about other sectors where it's important.

Katy Burgio: Yeah, thanks, Abby. We're really fortunate that our pilot program is with our utility provider. We have a really close working relationship with Con Edison both across our Sustainability Department where we work on these more innovative projects, but also with NYCHA in general since we do so much capital work across all five boroughs.

And so they have a demonstration team that really tries to focus on these pilot programs. And so those are the folks that we're working with to pilot micromobility charging and storage stations at four developments. So they are already involved and discussing the pros and cons and logistics and all of that information with us. And so as we scale up and scale across our developments for the RAISE grant work, we're lucky to have them on board and talking about it with us already.

Jon Hunter: Yeah, and just to quickly back up what Abby was saying, too. I know our local transit agency, when they were building a new garage, really worked really closely with the local utility to really think through when they wanted– knowing long term they want to electrify all their buses. What that would mean for the power to demand, knowing they're going to build a garage once and then need to use that even if electricity comes later for the buses.

For the car sharing side of things and the development, utilities have been partners throughout. I think they were part of the initial brainstorming. And a lot of the projects really lined up really well with both what was happening from policy perspectives and what our local public utilities commission was wanting to see from utilities at the same time some of these other funding opportunities came along. So a lot of the infrastructure development, things like that where we're able to leverage as the cost share for our Department of Energy grant.

And they have been really spearheading a lot of the installation. Not to mention just working through all the local issues that come up when you might want to do something curbside. But the length of a curb or a boulevard varies quite a bit. So sometimes electrical equipment gets well, sometimes it doesn't. And they really have been instrumental in thinking through those kinds of things. And then trying to figure out some of the underground sides and all those other aspects that most of us may not see on a day-to-day basis, but really influence exactly where things might go.

Debs Schrimmer: That's great. Thanks so much, Abby and Katy and John. Maybe while Katy and Jon here are fresh on speaking about your projects, I have a question I see from the audience that was directed at both of your presentations. So I'm going to read that right now. For the two presentations on micromobility and maybe car sharing where there are indications of cost savings for users and their ability to forego higher transportation expenses, was there also a sense of greater usage by locating EV carshare micromobility stations where it was connected to transit? I know, Katy, you're earlier in your process. But I think you can both provide some context on that.

Katy Burgio: Yeah. Jon, do you want to go first?

Jon Hunter: Sure. There are a few different ways we interact with transit and that kind of things. One is the ride card that's used for our transit system here, is known as the Go Card, can actually be used to unlock and lock the car share doors. Micro systems are somewhat integrated to connect the accounts and try to be as seamless as possible.

As I mentioned, all the charging hubs and their placement are really designed to interact with and integrate with transit. Nobody really wanted to replace transit in any way, shape, or form. They wanted it to be very much complementary and a means of trying to help get people to the transit systems as much as anything.

So a lot of the corridor developments, things like that, are along. Like light rail lines or other things like that, designed to feed in or get people off. And you see that in our new upcoming project as well, where new sites will be going in on a bus rapid transit line as it launches, to hopefully try to integrate that even more so. I think I lost the stem of the other question, but I'll circle back to that. Katy, if you have other thoughts.

Katy Burgio: Yeah. For transit, it's true, we are early. But of the reason why we haven't focused too much on transit hubs is because there is a New York City Department of Transportation that really focuses on that larger New York City wide transportation options and bike parking. And so that really falls under their purview. We're primarily addressing New York City housing residents.

And so we're trying to just make sure that they can, as residents, charge and store their personal micromobility vehicles safely. And so that has really been our focus for this work, which I think we're on different task forces and interagency meetings with different agency partners, including the New York City Department of Transportation. And so where there's opportunities to collaborate and figure out locations that make more sense as transit hubs, we will be doing that. But our main priority is to provide the storage for our residents on our properties.

And then I think for the cost sharing, off the top of my head, I don't know if that was done. But in New York City, generally 80% of New York City residents don't own personal or single use– single occupancy vehicles is the right term. And a lot of NYCHA developments are in transit deserts, where it's more than a 10-minute walk to get to a subway stop. There are buses a lot, but the frequencies are a lot less than subways.

So we know that people use it to get to or use it for last mile transportation. And we also know that there's a lot of people who use it just as their means of employment also. New York City has a lot of folks who are delivery drivers. There is a delivery driver union, Los Deliveristas Unidos. They actually just, I think, got signed legislation to provide them with $30 an hour minimum wage, which is amazing. And we know that a lot of them work and live in our properties.

So it's not just on the transportation element, but it's also just for their jobs. So I don't know if that would weigh into a cost share perspective or a cost benefit. But that's something that we've just identified as a priority to make sure that people can do their jobs also.

Debs Schrimmer: That's great. Thanks, both. And thanks again for the question. I think bringing transit into the conversation when thinking about carshare and micromobility is so important. Because often, these are multi-modal trips where people may take a bike to get on transit. And shared mobility can play a really important role as a first last mile connection to transit.

So with that perspective, I think I'd love to include Tory and Kevin in this conversation as well. From your perspective, you're both managing programs singularly focused on bus electrification. But your users may make a multimodal journey to access the bus, whether that's walking to the bus stop or biking or some other way. Could you speak a bit about how your agencies think about multimodal transportation? And are there maybe challenges and opportunities for these specific programs you work on or other efforts happening at your office to be more inclusive of these multimodal connections that happen across different types of transit?

Kevin Osborn: Sure. Our agency is always thinking about the multimodal approach and really taking that into consideration. For the Low-No program specifically, we're able to use that funding for mobility devices or other electric scooters and things like that. But we consider the whole mobility and multimodal approach when we're talking about some of our other programs and other projects in that first last mile connection.

Some of the biggest challenges we're seeing specifically with the bus programs is from the manufacturing side. Is the bus manufacturers are such a limited number of bus manufacturers that can produce buses that fit with the federal requirements. And of those manufacturers, it's such a time gap between the time that a project is selected from the time that the bus is procured from the time that the bus is actually on the road. And FDA's always working on strategies to help narrow that gap and try to really get the buses on the road sooner.

So FDA is currently working on, how do we work on the additional priorities? And maybe do we reduce customization or help agencies reduce customization? Because as you know, even if they're purchasing buses off of some kind of large state schedule or something like that, a lot of times, they still like to customize their bus specific to their agency or specific to their climate or whatever. So how do we work with transit agencies and the industry to help reduce that time by requiring them to maybe reduce customization. Or not even required, but prioritize if they decide to reduce customization. Or if there's other strategies that we can look at to try to get those buses on the road sooner.

Tory Coffin: I'll just echo off of that. While the Clean School Bus Program is solely focused on school buses and specifically the electrification process, we do anticipate that a lot of the challenges that we've noticed through our program are also the case with just electrification efforts in general across other transit options. So specifically with just the planning and selection of electric buses in our instance. Things like conducting the route analysis and just evaluating which type of bus best suits the school district's needs is something that comes up very frequently. And Abby at the Joint Office through our partnership provides a lot of technical assistance to help school districts think those options through.

I think the number one challenge we hear often, as it's been already noted, is electric utility planning and coordination. And so EPA established an electric sector pledge with two different national electric sector organizations to provide support for our program applicants and selectees to first just initiate the conversation with their utility and point them in that direction. Sometimes it's just hard to locate their utility and get into contact. And then from there, start those early planning conversations.

And then I would say that the third topic is workforce development and training. And that's something that we are working on developing resources for schools, because oftentimes, this is our first time pursuing an electrification project, and they don't have that technical expertise. So there's a lot of workforce planning considerations to prepare their workforce for installing the infrastructure and then operating the buses once they've been deployed.

So that's something we are also developing resources for and continuing to look to. Places where we can look at existing resources and point to them to help our selectees as they plan for that transition.

Debs Schrimmer: Great. Thanks so much, Tory and Kevin. I think it's really great to have your perspectives as managers of programs specifically focused on dedicated funding streams to support electrification. In your cases, bus electrification. I'm seeing a lot of questions in the chat focused more on funding opportunities on the micromobility side, because there aren't necessarily the same dedicated funding programs for micromobility charging stations.

So I'm just going to answer that one myself, since I'm seeing some questions around what kinds of funding opportunities are available for micromobility charging and strategies to improve access to charging or safe charging, such as bike rooms. So thank you, folks, for this question. The Joint Office website does track relevant funding opportunities, including programs that support micromobility. This link on our website, which I'll put in the chat in just a moment, highlights newer programs that were created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, such as the charging and fueling CFI infrastructure program or the carbon reduction program. And it also is a place to stay up to date on the Joint Office's own funding programs.

I'd also suggest, folks, to look at many of the ongoing programs within the US Department of Transportation, which can fund micromobility charging as well. Katy spoke about the US DOT RAISE program, which is a discretionary program. But there's a whole host of existing DOT programs like CMAC and the Transportation Alternative Set Aside Program that have been around for years and can fund micromobility charging as well.

So I'll put some links in the chat for folks. And want to make a special shout out to the folks from the DOT Volpe Center. Earlier this year, they put together an urban electric mobility toolkit which lays out a lot of these different infrastructure funding options. And it's organized by different modes, so you can actually look and filter down to the micromobility options. So stay tuned on that. I'll post those links shortly.

Maybe we'll go back to another question for the panelists. Let's see. Katy and Jon, keeping on the funding conversation, could you speak a bit to the financial sustainability of your programs and what additional funding sources are you using and exploring for ongoing operations and maintenance?

Katy Burgio: Yeah, I can go first. We are actively exploring those. I think a main consideration that we are discussing with resident leadership and with our own leadership is subsidizing our resident usage by allowing other New York City residents to use this type of charging infrastructure. Our primary focus is to provide safe infrastructure for our residents. But if there is a way to make it more affordable and to fund maintenance for our residents by allowing others to use it, that is something that we have to consider.

Otherwise, definitely other grant work. And we have technical services and maintenance departments within the New York City Housing Authority that can do a lot of maintenance work. But obviously, electrical work is– or high risk electrical work guess, I'll categorize it as, in a slightly different category. And so those are different conversations. And making sure that we can have continued maintenance is a huge conversation for us as we're getting these programs up off the ground.

Jon Hunter: And locally, they're have definitely been a wide variety of different funding things all pooled together. As mentioned, the operator of the car sharing system here. HOURCAR is a non-profit organization, that they do know recruit from the philanthropic world for some of their mission. A number of different programs went into some of the initial start-up costs of things.

The EV Spot Network, the charging infrastructure, are owned by Minneapolis and St. Paul, the cities, proper. And so they've set the rate structures on those to try to estimate what operation costs and those kind of expectations will be so that the use of them do offset the ongoing operational costs. The car sharing system I think is being used about an average of 2 and 1/2 times per car per day. And that usage doesn't necessarily right now offset the full operating costs of that system. But that's been growing pretty rapidly over this year.

So we hope to eventually get it to a spot where it is much closer to being self-sufficient. And then continue to look for different ways and eclectic things to help put it together. I will point out, too, as well, earlier this year, the Minnesota legislature changed the definition of what a rental car was so that the rental car tax no longer applied to car sharing in the same way that it had been. So that was an instant reduction in cost that had been passed along to EV car sharing users. So there are definitely a variety of ways that have gone into trying to support the whole system.

Debs Schrimmer: Great. Thanks so much. And Jon, I've got a follow-up question for you from our very own Heather Richardson. The diagram of EV spot charging has vehicles parked curbside. Many places are putting the bike lane at the curb to improve safety and comfort for cyclists. Has EV spot or others in your organization looked at how to accommodate a different road use design?

Jon Hunter: I admit, I did not appreciate that I get the hardest questions from the folks who are hosting the webinars. But it is a really interesting question, because Minneapolis St. Paul I think are considered pretty bike friendly communities. We have a lot of dedicated lanes. And despite our winters, a lot of people feeling that the desire to bike all winter for sure.

But we don't have a large number of really protected bike lanes right now and that kind of infrastructure. It's growing, definitely. And it's more of an upcoming thing. But we don't have a lot of examples that I can think of where it's really a great protected super separated kind of situation. The locations of the initial EV spot networks was all the work of Public Works Departments for Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as a number of other partners. So I think that would have created an opportunity to think about where the plans for future bike development really would be or the most logical bike lanes.

In addition, I guess I'd say a lot of the charging spots sometimes are tucked around the corner from busier roadways or things like that, where they may not be directly on the line. They might just be around the corner from where a bike lane would be, make much more sense. I think for roadways where you really are thinking about good solid concrete protected type bikeways, that might actually create an opportunity to think about that as a potential place for some curbside charging things .

That might freak out some folks, just thinking about how you need to protect those from stray drivers and that kind of stuff. But I can think of, I guess, one or two examples here where they have such a nice concrete partly barrier, but partly pedestrian cross stop spot. That includes some of the parking meters and things like that that might logically work for some of the curbside kind of charging. But it's definitely not something we've really had much occasion to think about here yet.

DEBS SCHRIMMER: Yeah. I think a lot of opportunity to continue to develop best practices around curbside charging and thinking about those competing uses at the curb. Thanks. Thanks, Heather. Thanks, Jon.

I have a question for Tory, and then I'd like to include Kevin in this as well. I think some folks have asked about the Justice40 Initiative and how that relates to your various programs. Tory, maybe you could explain for folks on the call that aren't familiar, what Justice40 is, and could you talk about how the Clean School Bus Program fits those factors into its funding decisions?

Tory Coffin: Yeah, absolutely. So the Justice40 Initiative was established under an executive order which directs that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments are invested in disadvantaged communities. For the Clean School Bus Program, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law outlines the entities that can be prioritized for our program funding. And those include the entities that I mentioned earlier, which are low income school districts in high need areas, tribal schools, and schools in rural areas.

And so we've issued awards for one program funding round to date, which was the 2022 clean school bus rebate program. And we were really pleased to see that I think it was over 95% of our applications received were from prioritized entities. And so a vast majority of those awarded funds which have already been distributed have gone to one or more school districts meeting– the school districts meeting one or more of those prioritized criteria. So that's something that we continue to implement in each of our funding rounds.

Debs Schrimmer: Thanks, Tory. Kevin, is there anything from an FTA perspective you'd like to add?

Kevin Osborn: And I would just say additionally that ever since the executive order, FTA has prioritized the administration's priorities and included the additional considerations in all of our competitive programs that includes Justice40. And then not only does the NOFO explain the evaluation criteria for our program, but also the additional considerations that we look into. And applicants are given credit for those additional considerations in our review process to benefit those groups to make sure that these projects are being reviewed and looked at to support the groups spelled out in the executive order.

Debs Schrimmer: Great. Thanks, Kevin. Looks like another question for me that came through. I think this may have been through the registrations. But the question is, what actions are being taken to fund and build out the electric vehicle charging infrastructure? I think this is maybe broader than just the Ride Electric part, so I'll answer this on behalf of the Joint Office from a drive and ride point of view. Thank you for the question.

Right now, about 26 states are leading the way on the build out of EV charging stations through the NEVI, National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program, which is a $5 billion formula program for states to build out their EV charging networks. In October, Ohio was actually the first state to break ground on a NEVI station, which will be located just west of Columbus. And many other states are continuing to roll out processes to fund and build these stations.

I would love to plug the Joint Office's update on other states and where they stand with NEVI awards. So I'll put that in the chat in just a moment. I also wanted to highlight another program from this fall that the Biden-Harris administration announced, which is a $100 million program called the Charger Reliability and Accessibility Accelerator– ooh, that's a mouthful– which is going to repair and replace non-operational chargers that are currently in the ground.

And this is an important program because it helps support the build-out of a reliable, seamless, and consistent EV charging experience. So really excited about that program. And then finally, I'll touch on the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure CFI program, which is a $2.5 billion discretionary program focused on filling gaps and supporting communities in deploying EV charging stations.

This application closed over the summer. And unfortunately, I can't speak on behalf of the Federal Highways Administration who manages the program, but we look forward to when they announce the winners of that program soon. So that was a quick recap on the state of play of other funding programs that the Joint Office is involved with. And it looks like we have another question for Jon that I'm going to ask now.

So regarding the carshare program, what is the approach to affordable insurance premiums? And before you answer that, I'm just going to make a quick note of the time. We've just got a few minutes left in this webinar. So if you have any other lingering questions, please do put them in the chat now. Thank you. OK, Jon. Over to you.

Jon Hunter: Yeah, so insurance is built into the rental rate for the members of the car sharing system. Since HOURM car is a non-profit organization, they qualify for an insurance agency that I forget where they are based or what their name is off the top of my head. But it is an insurance agency that really has a policy designed for this sort of not-for-profit car sharing type system. So they get the insurance through there. And then that is just built into the membership costs for the thing.

So it's not something a driver needs to pay for directly or any of that kind of stuff. There are ways people can pay for added insurance, things like that, as part of the membership user choices. But the basic insurance is covered just in the overall membership use.

Debs Schrimmer: Great, thanks. Another question for you, Jon, and for Katy. Could you speak a bit about the role and value of partnerships that you've established to implement or partnerships you're thinking about establishing to implement your respective programs?

Jon Hunter: You want to start, Katy?

Katy Burgio: Sure. Yeah, partnerships are really key. Our main partner is really our residents and our resident leadership boards. And so making sure that they understand the program and weigh in on location and orientation of the type of infrastructure that we're installing is really important. And we have a lot of means to include them early in the planning, and so we're doing that.

Also, partnerships with other city agencies like the New York City DOT that has this broader multi-modal view of the city is pretty critical, as well as other utility providers. And I think there are some other interesting opportunities that we are hearing about and starting to explore of private entities who want to lease land, which is a hot commodity in New York City, but that we have more of than most landlords, to have mini distribution hubs or battery storage. And then can provide money for maintenance of this type of infrastructure is really interesting to us and something that we're considering in a variety of installations across our portfolio. But could specifically be used for providing the funding for micromobility charging and storage as well.

So it's a potential partnership that we're really excited by but I think is really starting to evolve as that becomes an opportunity for different private entities across the city.

Debs Schrimmer: Great. Thanks so much. OK, this is going to be a little bit of a lightning round for all of the panelists to close things off. So maybe we'll go in order of the presentation. So Katy, we'll go back to you. But the question is really around future-proofing and building resilience into these projects. We are making really historic level investments right now in infrastructure and thinking about this idea of digging once. And I'm really wanting to see returns on those investments. And making sure that these are programs that can last a long time.

What specific things are you thinking about to future-proof and keep your program resilient?

Katy Burgio: Yeah, it's a really good question. I think it's really valuable that this program sits within the sustainability and capital projects team at NYCHA, because we do have oversight and an ability to work with all of this other infrastructure work that's happening across our portfolio. So we can see what other work is happening or being planned when a development is getting an electrical upgrade and take advantage of that.

I think also we do have the opportunity to pull from existing utility lines when there's available service. So we do try and maximize our coordination as much as possible. It's definitely very hard. And it's a really hard balance to achieve when we're trying to meet the really urgent needs for this type of infrastructure and to address safety concerns that are happening right now while we're trying to plan these longer infrastructure upgrades. So it's challenging to do both and to try and only dig once, but hopefully we can do that.

Debs Schrimmer: Great. OK. Quick sound bite, tweet, or X level amount of thoughts on resilience. Over to you, Jon.

Jon Hunter: Yeah, we were actually slowed down initially with our first launch, because all the vehicles were up one type of vehicle that got caught up in a recall pretty early on. And that needed to take them all off the road, right, as we were just about to get it out the door. By design, we were intending to get more types of vehicles than we now do have multiple types of vehicles in the system. Definitely not having that resilience or that sort of diversity definitely slowed us down.

Debs Schrimmer: Great reminder. Abby?

Abby Brown: Sure. So from a bus perspective on future-proofing, we really encourage the fleets we work with to think about their long term electric bus plans before they lay electric conduit and install charging infrastructure. If a fleet expects to continue to move towards a fully electric fleet, we really encourage them to plan for that when they're installing infrastructure. So they only have to dig once.

And this is something that, of course, we can help fleets think through and encourage folks to reach out to us for assistance with that, if they would like.

Debs Schrimmer: Thanks, Abby. Kevin?

Kevin Osborn: Yeah, this level of funding, like you said, is monumentous. And we're going to see the fruits of this for the next decade or longer. So we encourage our transit agencies to do a lot of consultation with their local– not only just the power companies, but the local other agencies to make sure that the decisions they're making are coordinated and the right decisions. And not only just for the physical infrastructure, but the systems, too. And interoperability and making sure that the systems are communicating with and are secure. So those are all considerations to ensure sustainability.

Debs Schrimmer: Great. And Tory?

Tory Coffin: Yeah, in addition to echoing what Abby said. We're, I think, building partnerships on the EPA regional level and the state and local community level to make awareness about the opportunity and just electrifying school bus fleet. So that when our program funding runs out, there's that awareness we're developing the resources now that can still be used once our program funding has been spent.

Bridget Gilmore: Awesome. I just wanted to share some resources before we close out. Thank you all so much. Thank you, Debs, for moderating. And we have links to all of these great sites that have been mentioned today. There's also a lot of really good ones in the chat, so be sure to check it out before you depart.

Just wanted to say, if you didn't get your question answered here today, you can feel free to reach out to us on our contact form at And we will, like we said, post this recording in just a little bit. So if you want to view it there, you can check it out on our website at

Awesome. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.