Electric buses will be gradually added to Metro Transit's bus fleet over the coming years under a plan presented this week to the Metropolitan Council.
The plan will begin going into effect next year, when Metro Transit starts the process of purchasing 19 new 40-foot electric buses. The buses would arrive in 2020 and will be used to help Metro Transit understand how electric buses effect scheduling, operations and maintenance.
Electric buses could also make up half of the fleet for future rapid bus lines on Chicago and Fremont avenues (D Line), Lake Street (B Line) and Hennepin Avenue (E Line). Additional 40-foot electric buses could go into service as early as 2022.
Combined, Metro Transit may purchase up to 125 electric buses by 2022. The fleet plan may evolve based on funding and an ongoing evaluation of electric bus technology.
Metro Transit’s first electric buses will be used on the C Line, a rapid bus line that will largely replace Route 19 service in 2019.
The first of eight electric 60-foot buses is currently being built in St. Cloud by New Flyer (above).
Charging equipment will also be installed at the Heywood Garage and the Brooklyn Center Transit Center.
Metro Transit was among the first transit agencies in the country to begin using hybrid-electric buses. Today, the fleet includes more than 130 hybrid-electric buses, which are partially propelled by electric power stored in a large battery on the roof of buses.
Electric buses are fully-propelled by rechargeable batteries, eliminating tailpipe emissions.