ROCHESTER, Minn. - The city of Rochester is contracting with New Flyer North America to purchase four, 60-foot busses that run on electricity - plus the charging equipment to keep them rolling. The new busses will be on Rochester city streets later this year.
In 2017, city leaders began looking for solutions to move toward using more renewable energy resources. These busses are part of that plan.
The city received a grant in 2020 for over 3 million dollars from the Federal Transit Administration, which will help pay for the new busses.
Rochester resident Steven Drahos thinks this is an outstanding idea.
“You're going to eliminate emissions, dangerous carbon monoxide in the air, and heavy trafficking.”
Scott Hargis, visiting the Med-city from California, likes the idea - but wants to make sure the electricity that powers the busses is generated from clean sources.
He says, “Busses are a major source of pollution - often in the neighborhood that can deal with it the least.”
Despite the challenges winter months will bring, Nick Lemmer with the City of Rochester expects the new electric busses will be an overall improvement to the city - better serving the needs of riders.
“What we're hoping for is both a better rider experience and more sustainable service provided to the community,” he explains. “Better service to our transit customers with these larger vehicles - and just an overall community benefit from the sustainability and the quality of life that electric vehicles can bring.”
The city of Rochester is expected to see electric busses for testing late fall this year - and will possibly be introduced to routes during the winter months.