$40,000 grant awarded to student to purchase electric shuttle

Lakeidra Chavis/ Sun Star Reporter

April 15, 2014

Twenty-three year old Biology student Kaitlyn Moneymaker has received a $40,000 grant to purchase an electric shuttle for campus.

The grant, funded by the Office of Sustainability’s Review of Infrastructure, Sustainability and Energy grant program, will cover the costs to ship an electric shuttle from the lower 48 to Fairbanks, as well as advertising for the shuttle and the cost of placing the Office of Sustainability logo on the bus.

After reviewing a travel emmissions report to track the carbon footprint of transportation on campus, Moneymaker thought of a way to reduce the CO2 emission on campus.

“An easy way to reduce that would be [to have] an electric shuttle,” she said. “The electric shuttle is going to save 32, 500 pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere in the 28 weeks the shuttle will run.”

The shuttle will operate on the Yukon route during the summer, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The route travels from West Ridge to the Wood Center. It’s expected to run from mid-May to mid-October.

The fact that the shuttle is electric isn’t keeping it from running in the winter, it’s the tires. Due to the small size of the tires, Monkeymaker said they are having difficulty finding winter tires for the shuttle.

Each current UAF shuttle emits approximately 30,000 pounds of CO2 each week, according to an emission report conducted by a student worker at the Office of Sustainability. The gas to operate the shuttles each day costs approximately $38. Since the new shuttle only uses electricity, the cost to run it will be about $3 a day. Moneymaker said that the savings will help pay for the shuttle.

During the summer, the electric shuttle will replace one of the regular buses.

The bus will be able to seat 15 passengers and is ADA-compliant.

Although the shuttle was purchased through the Office of Sustainability, it will be operated by Facility Services once it is shipped up to Fairbanks.

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