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April 25, 2024

Met Council votes to expand Metro Transit’s electric bus fleet  

Met Council is committed to reducing our contributions to greenhouse gas emissions in the region 

The Metropolitan Council is pleased to announce it is expanding Metro Transit's electric bus fleet following the approval of two contracts with bus manufacturer GILLIG. 

The 20 new 40-foot buses will be used on local routes determined to be the best fit based on Metro Transit’s Zero-Emission Bus Transition Plan. The plan calls for a phased introduction of buses powered by batteries or other alternatives to diesel fuel.   

Metro Transit put its first eight electric buses into service in 2019 and will put five more into service on the METRO Gold Line in 2025. 

The Gillig buses that will be purchased through the contracts approved this week will be the agency’s first 40-foot electric buses and are expected to enter service in 2026.  

“The Met Council and Metro Transit are working hard to reduce our carbon footprint,” Metro Transit General Manager Lesley Kandaras said. “Expanding the electric bus fleet is one step we are taking towards the cleaner, healthier environment we envision for our region.” 

In total, the Met Council is investing more than $34 million in electric buses and charging equipment through the new contracts. The investment is supported by a combined $21.6 million in Federal Transit Administration grants.   

Funding will also support efforts to continue an apprentice program for technicians and to provide staff ongoing training on electric bus technologies.  

The investment supports and advances Met Council’s Climate Action Work Plan, which builds on the organization’s track record of climate change planning, emissions reductions, and more resilient outcomes. The plan unifies efforts across Met Council divisions and aligns with?Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework

“We take the work of our Climate Action Work Plan very seriously,” said Lisa Barajas, executive director of Community Development and sponsor of the Council-wide climate action work. “Given our planning responsibilities, and as one of the state’s largest energy users and owners of the largest public vehicle fleet, we have significant opportunities to reduce emissions and improve resiliency in our operations and facilities.” 

Contact: Drew Kerr, [email protected], 651-387-3928

About Metro Transit 

Metro Transit, an operating division of the Metropolitan Council, is one of the country's largest transit systems and an established leader in the transit industry. Metro Transit operates the METRO Blue and Green light rail lines, Northstar commuter rail line, and more than 100 bus routes, including a growing number of bus rapid transit lines.

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About the Metropolitan Council 

The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning organization for the seven-county Twin Cities region. The Met Council runs the regional bus and rail system, collects and treats wastewater, coordinates water resource preservation, plans, funds regional parks, and administers federal funds that provide housing opportunities for individuals and families with low and moderate incomes. The 17-member Met Council is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Minnesota governor.

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