#OurMN: Metro Transit Electric Buses

#OurMN: Metro Transit Electric Buses


Choosing public transportation has a long list of benefits, and starting this summer in the Twin Cities, that list is growing,
as Metro Transit adds environmentally friendly electric buses to its fleet. My name is Brian Funk, I’m the Deputy Chief
Operating Officer for the Bus system at Metro Transit. So Metro Transit has acquired eight 60-Foot
articulated electric buses. Funding for these buses was provided in part
by our state tax dollars. The Electric Buses are propelled down the
road by electric motors as opposed to internal combustion diesel engines. It makes sense from an environmental standpoint. We’re reducing our engine oil usage. We’ve put less into the environmental waste
stream. We believe that there’s a potential for
savings over the life of the bus. We won’t be performing some of the preventative
maintenance activities like oil changes. Those Buses will be debuting on the C Line
this summer. They’re going to be providing Bus Rapid
Transit Service. Bus rapid transit provides faster than standard
service along some of the metro’s busiest transit usage areas. It includes additional amenities to make trips
more comfortable. We have stations that are more similar to
Light Rail than your traditional bus stop. There’s overhead shelter, there’s heat,
there’s light, there’s security cameras, there’s off-board fare payment. July will be 18 years for me as a driver at
Metro Transit. We’re used to hearing the engine going. On this bus here, you don’t hear anything
at all. And it’s a lot smoother. We know that these buses in particular are
going to benefit areas that may not have always benefited from the first in technology. Our C-Line operates in Minneapolis through
areas of concentrated poverty and so from a social and environmental justice perspective,
this pilot program makes all the sense in the world. Following the initial C Line pilot program,
Metro Transit plans to continue introducing e-buses. We’ll be purchasing nineteen 40-foot electric
buses — sort of the traditional transit bus – to provide local service so we can see
how electric buses perform in a little bit different operating environment. And then we have plans for 13 additional articulated
electric buses that will provide service on the next Bus Rapid Transit line. We believe that’s the future of bus service
for our busiest corridors in the metro area. I think it’s very important that the taxpayer
would fund this because… zero emissions. We don’t have to worry about all the diesel
fuel in the air. That’s a great reason right there. Now we always have a plan to replace aging
vehicles. And that’s made up of both local and federal
tax dollars that come together to be able to fund those purchases. We want to be industry leaders but we also
want to be mindful that these funds are coming from taxpayers. And so, we’re doing it responsibly. We’re going to ensure that these vehicles
are going to be first and foremost reliable for our customers. They’re going to be there every day, be
able to provide a nice comfortable ride and that they can deliver the service we need
them to.