M-1 Rail will run six battery powered streetcars

M1 Rail - Brookville R_optM-1 Rail, leading the construction of the three-mile streetcar system along Woodward Avenue in Detroit, has announced the acquisition of six individual streetcars. The agreement was entered into with Brookville Equipment Corporation, a Pennsylvania based manufacturer, to design, build, test for safety certification of the six streetcars.
“Selection of Brookville provides M-1 Rail with a company that has experience constructing streetcars that best meet this project’s technological requirements and timeline, ” said Paul Childs, chief operating officer for M-1 Rail. “We are pleased to reach agreement with Brookville, a streetcar manufacturer that specializes in the advanced off-wire technology that will make our system a leader in this technology.”
A key factor in selecting Brookville was the company’s strong performance in providing streetcars for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), a system operating with similar streetcar technology.
M-1 Rail officials say the Woodward route will be the nation’s leading system employing off-wire technology, with 60 percent of the line operating on battery power provided by 750-volt rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
“Brookville has had success building streetcars with similar operating systems and specifications to what we have planned for M-1 Rail, so we know exactly what we’re getting,” said Childs. “Other streetcar projects utilize overhead wiring for everything from vehicle propulsion to the infrastructure of their maintenance and repair sites.
“M-1 Rail will minimize its impact on the aesthetics of Detroit’s iconic Woodward Avenue, and the Penske Technical Center will not have the labyrinth of wires overhead that typify the maintenance and repair sites of other systems.”
The off-wire technology enhances safety and enables more efficient maintenance and repairs. The six-vehicle purchase, at $32 million, will come with spare parts and support services. The 66-foot-long streetcars traveling up to the maximum speed of 35 mph will carry 125 passengers on average.
The streetcars will also be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), allowing for station-level access for pedestrians, as well as persons who use mobility assist devices. Vertical bicycle racks will be included in the design to accommodate Detroit’s burgeoning bicycle community. The vehicles also will feature Wi-Fi access for passengers, and HVAC systems to facilitate the swings in Michigan’s weather.
Walk-up fares are expected to be $1.50, although passes and other fare options will be available. Delivery of the six streetcars will begin in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Brookville Equipment Corporation is a century-old manufacturer that also is the only maker of streetcars to design and manufacture exclusively in the United States.
LANSING — The Michigan Good Food Fund, a new public-private partnership loan and grant fund created to address lack of healthy food access in rural and urban communities alike by supporting good food entrepreneurs across the state, has launched.
The Michigan Good Food Fund addresses the significant need for healthy food access in rural and urban communities alike. While Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the nation with food and agriculture contributing $101.2 billion annually to the state’s economy, more than 1.8 million Michigan residents — including 300,000 children — live in lower-income communities with limited healthy food access. The lack of access to affordable and nutritious food has serious implications for the health of our children and families. More than 30 percent of Michiganders are obese, the second highest rate of obesity in the Midwest region. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted.
“The Michigan Good Food Fund will be an essential component of our work to provide accessible healthy food to everyone in Michigan, especially vulnerable communities,” said Oran Hesterman, Fair Food Network president and CEO. “The fund will also be an incredible opportunity for food entrepreneurs, harnessing capital and growing strong, local economies.”
Created by a coalition of food sector, nonprofit, higher education, government and philanthropic partners, the fund provides financial capital and business assistance to businesses that grow, distribute and sell fresh and healthy food that reaches low-income populations. This effort will increase access to healthy food, improve the health of all Michigan residents and drive economic development and job creation.
Core partners include the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, fund manager Capital Impact Partners, and Fair Food Network and Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems who will co-lead business assistance and pipeline development.
The fund is modeled after the pioneering Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, the California FreshWorks Fund and other similar successful statewide efforts. However, unlike other healthy food financing initiatives, which primarily focus on retail efforts, the Michigan fund will work to create financial and social impact throughout the food supply chain.
The Michigan Good Food Fund supports efforts across the value chain including healthy food production, distribution, processing, marketing and retail projects. It will offer financing through flexible, competitive loans as well as grants investments with a mission-driven approach targeting those enterprises often overlooked by traditional sources of financing, Lending will be bolstered by business assistance to help entrepreneurs grow their ventures and build a pipeline of investment-ready projects.
At the launch, fund investors included the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States committed to partnering with communities where children come first, and the Max and Marjorie Fisher Foundation. The goal is to grow the fund to $30 million.
The fund is committed to supporting projects that benefit traditionally underserved communities through increased access to nutritious food as well as capital and job opportunities. It also encourages the sourcing of locally grown food and sustainable environmental practices. It presents an opportunity not only for entrepreneurs, but also for foundations and other investors looking to amplify their work for greater impact in service to low-income children and families.
“One in five Michigan residents live in lower-income communities with limited access to the nutritious fruits and vegetables they need to thrive,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, W.K. Kellogg Foundation president and CEO. “The Michigan Good Food Fund is fueling our state’s good food economy and increasing access to healthy food with direct benefits for our most vulnerable children and families.”
Michigan Good Food Fund launches a partnership to increase access to healthy food and drive economic development
Six American made vehicles to be built for nation’s leading off-wire streetcar system

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