Free bus rides — and battery bus woes, plus Big Top’s Ed Willett performs on both sides of the bay

Air Date:
Heard On Simply Superior
Photo by Robin Washington/WPR.

The Duluth Transit Authority this week unveiled its “Better Bus Blueprint” — a plan for more efficient service in the Twin Ports by reconfiguring routes and eliminating some stops. The agency is offering free rides through Sept. 9 to introduce the changes. But they follow a U.S. Department of Energy report on the DTA’s battery-powered electric buses, found to be available for use only 51.8% of the time compared to 88.4% percent for diesel buses. Adding to concerns is the bankruptcy last month of bus manufacturer Proterra, with two additional buses on order. “Simply Superior” host Robin Washington discusses the Better Bus changes and the report with DTA Marketing Director David Clark, and also Boston transit activist Evan Foss.

Also, cellist and music director Ed Willett has been a mainstay of the Big Top Chautauqua’s Blue Canvas Orchestra for decades, and he continues that streak at its closing performance Sept. 9. Before that, he’ll also lead a group at a concert celebrating Duluth Bethel’s 150th anniversary at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Sept. 6. Willett joins Washington with selections previewing both shows.

Episode Credits

  • Robin Washington Host
  • Robin Washington Producer
  • Ezra Wall Producer
  • Robin Washington Interviewer
  • Ed Willett Guest