Benzie Transportation Authority Receives Eco Award

Public transportation fleets across the county are turning to propane autogas as a way to reduce their carbon footprint, cut fuel costs, and decrease dependence on foreign oil. This week, the Propane Education & Research Council and Metro Magazine recognized six top fleets for their recent adoptions of clean, American-made propane autogas at BusCon Expo in Indianapolis.

Propane-autogas-powered vehicles emit fewer harmful greenhouse gas and carbon emissions than vehicles running on gasoline and diesel, reducing short-term and long-term health effects on passengers, according to the company.

"This year’s award winners are a great example of how fleets can improve the economic and environmental well-being of their communities without breaking the bank to do it,” PERC Chief Business Development Officer Tucker Perkins said. “Propane autogas is a clean fuel that can also result in a strong ROI due to significant savings on fuel costs. Public fleets can trust propane autogas as an affordable, reliable fuel."

Benzie Transportation Authority recently adopted seven propane autogas shuttle buses with ICOM JTG II Systems, and one Ford E-450 transit vehicle with a dedicated Roush CleanTech fuel system. According to Chad Hollenbeck, BTA Operations Manager, the transit authority is the first in northern Michigan to adopt clean, green propane autogas.

For more information on BusCon Expo and the PERC propane autogas awards, visit To learn more about propane-autogas-fueled bus fleets, visit


Top drivers, teams named in Small Bus Roadeo competition

Troy Lowe of Branch Area Transit Authority won first place in the individual competition at Michigan’s 39th Annual Small Bus Roadeo in Frankenmuth on September 12. Mike Beech of the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) was second. Third place went to Harold Smith of Gladwin City/County Transit. Forty small bus drivers from 17 public transit systems participated.

The top three individual winners are eligible to compete next spring in the Community Transportation Association annual National Bus Roadeo. Fourth through tenth place individual winners were: Marvin Frayer, Clare County Transit; Bob Beck, Clinton Area Transit System; Mike Bassett, Barry County Transit; Steffanie Hunt, Isabella County Transportation Commission (ICTC); Marilyn Griffith, ICTC; Jon Greer, Gladwin City/County Transit; and Kevin Kenney, ICTC.

Gladwin had the first place team, composed of Harold Smith, Jon Greer and Deanna Hughes. The second place team was ICTC’s Steffanie Hunt, Marilyn Griffith and Kevin Kenney. CATA’s Mike Beech, Kate Gardner and Ginger Gray were third.

"Rookie of the Year" went to Gladwin’s Jon Greer. The highest score on the written test was a tie between Marvin Frayer of Clare County Transit and Gladwin’s Deanna Hughes. CATA’s Mike Beech had the highest score on the driving course.

Seven drivers had perfect scores in the pre-trip inspection. They were Gladwin’s Harold Smith; Barry County’s Mike Bassett; ICTC’s Steffanie Hunt and Marilyn Griffith; Clare’s Kevin Stamper and Jodi Cole; and Mark Uryga-Williams of Greater Lapeer Transportation Authority.

Nine drivers had perfect scores in Passenger Assistance. They were CATA’s Mike Beech and Ginger Gray; Gladwin’s Harold Smith and Deanna Hughes; Clare’s Marvin Frayer; Clinton Transit’s Bob Beck; ICTC’s Marilyn Griffith and Kevin Kenny; and Theresa Parker of Blue Water Transportation Commission. On the tie breaker of best time, Gladwin’s Harold Smith won the Q’Straint Michigan Driver of the Year for Passenger Assistance.

Photos of the event can be viewed on MDOT’s Facebook page

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