The Twin Cities Metropolitan Council announced Friday that it has approved roughly $200 million in funding for transportation projects across the region, including $4 million for a new shared electric-car program.
According to a press release, the Met Council allocates roughly $200 million to local transportation projects through its “Regional Solicitation” process every two years. During this funding cycle, the Met Council selected 57 projects across 37 different cities throughout the metro area.
One of the most talked about projects is a $4 million partnership with HOURCAR, a car-sharing service that will install electric vehicles and charging stations near transit stops in the Twin Cities.
“The City of St. Paul submitted the proposal featuring a fleet of all-electric vehicles and its network of charging stations. This unique project partners with HOURCAR, is supported by Xcel Energy and aims to reinvigorate car-sharing in the Twin Cities,” a press release explains.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said that “expanding access to electric vehicle transportation will help create a more connected St. Paul,” and will “significantly boost our work to build a sustainable future for our children.”
“This project does not just benefit HOURCAR members. By reducing vehicle emissions and congestion, this project will create healthy and connected neighborhoods in our region and reinforce the Twin Cities’ leadership in sustainable transit and shared mobility,” HOURCAR CEO Paul Schroeder said.
Half of the funding for the project will come through $4 million provided by Xcel Energy, whose president, Chris Clark, said he is “excited to partner with HOURCAR and the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis on this transformative car sharing project.”
“We have a long-term clean energy plan that includes helping the transportation industry go electric and this partnership helps ensure that an electric vehicle future will benefit all customers, the environment, and the electric grid we rely upon,” he added.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Electric Cars” by Felix Kramer (CalCars). CC BY-SA 2.0.