MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Metro Transit is trying out another line of electric buses, looking for the next generation of vehicles that can be environmentally friendly and cost effective.

“The fact of the matter is, almost all of our fleet are dependent on non-renewable fuels,” Metro Transit general manager Brian Lamb said.

He said they want to start to diversify their fleet, and one way to do that is to incorporate electric buses.

“They probably will not take over the whole fleet, but certainly as we are thinking about building out our bus rapid transit, these would be a great application,” he said.

The buses are expensive at about $800,000 each, which is about $300,000 more than a traditional bus. But Lamb said they expect big savings on fuel.

“A typical bus will use over 150,000 gallons,” he said.

In the last 20 years, Metro Transit have made great strides in reducing emissions, Lamb said.

“A single bus that we were operating in the 1990s had more emissions coming out of it than 90 buses that we operate on the street today,” he said.

Another benefit of the electric bus is the relative silence of the vehicles.

“So in urban environments, where you might have outdoor restaurants, we are looking at ways we can reduce the decibel level,” Lamb said.

He said they are looking at three different companies and if they decide to go ahead with the buses, they will start taking bids by the end of this year.

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