TheRide Announces Zero Emission Bus Technology Recommendation

TheRide Announces Zero Emission Bus Technology Recommendation

graphic of a hydrogen bus

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) is excited to announce its recommendation for a zero-emission bus pilot project. This initiative is a significant step towards reducing the agency’s carbon footprint and aligns with TheRide’s commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly transit solutions. 

Matt Carpenter, CEO of TheRide, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating, “Our recommendation for a hydrogen fuel-cell bus pilot project is not just about embracing cleaner technology; it’s about paving the way for a sustainable future. We are eager for the public to learn about the details of this recommendation and provide their valuable feedback. Together, we can make a difference.”

The pilot project, which will span 4-5 years, includes:

  • 2 hydrogen fuel cell buses and equipment
  • 1 outdoor fueling station
  • Workforce training
  • 12 months of operation in all seasons

If successful, this pilot will pave the way for a solution that eliminates all bus emissions, potentially saving about 7,000 tons of carbon emissions annually. 

It’s important to note that the success and realization of this pilot project heavily relies on securing grant funding. TheRide acknowledges the critical role of these grants in bringing this vision to life. To meet grant deadlines in Spring 2024, the CEO will present the recommendation to the Board of Directors for discussions in October, November and December 2023. The goal is to secure Board approval by January 2024. Once approved, TheRide staff will focus on grant submissions, which will significantly influence future capital budgets. 

The pilot project’s estimated capital costs range from $5.5 - $7.5 million, with TheRide contributing $1.1 - $1.5 million and the Federal government covering $4.4 - $6 million. The project’s total estimated costs are estimated between $6.9 - $10.8 million. Funding for the non-federal share will come from TheRide’s Capital Reserve. Additionally, the Michigan Department of Transportation may assist with some non-federal capital expenses. 

TheRide invites the public to learn more about this recommendation and provide comments during the public comment period at TheRide’s Board of Director’s meetings in October and November. Your voice matters, and we look forward to hearing from you. 

To learn more about this recommendation, visit

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, TheRide continues to enforce the established preventive measures to keep both riders and drivers safe:

  • Customers are encouraged to wear a face mask, but not required.
  • The driver is to be approached for emergencies only.
  • Buses are cleaned with CDC-recommended protocols.
  • Plastic barriers are added to separate drivers and riders on fixed-route buses.
  • Sanitation supplies are provided to employees.
  • Masks, gloves and face shields are provided for drivers’ use.
  • Lost and Found collection has been temporarily suspended. 

The latest information on TheRide’s routes, schedules and detours is available at 734-996-0400 and on