Laketran Envisions Electric-Powered Transportation

Jul 28, 2017

Beb Capelle takes over LakeTran Monday.
Credit MARK SIMPSON / WCPN

The Lake County transit agency’s new general manager starts this week. Laketran hopes to modernize its bus fleet with electric buses while juggling funding challenges.

LakeTran's new General Manager Ben Capelle inherits an agency with a $15 million budget facing a funding shortfall of about $600,000-s. 

But Capelle says introducing propane-powered buses last year and a recent grant application to fund a battery-powered bus fleet could bring a trial program and additional savings.

"No one else in the state has buses of that type at this time. We’re very hopeful that FTA will give us grant money. If they do that they could be on the road as early as 2020 or 2021,” Capelle says.

Capelle adds that the electric busses can fully charge within five minutes. Laketran applied for a $10 million grant with the Federal Transit Administration and expects a decision in September.