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Metro Transit goes green

Last Thursday, Metro Transit introduced its new line of green buses with a procession down Nicollet Mall. The 17 green-wrapped buses that were shown off are the some of the first of the 150 hybrid-electric buses that Metro Transit will buy over the next four years as part of its “Go Green� campaign. According to the Star Tribune, these hybrids cost $557,000 each, 80 percent of which is paid for by the federal government. Local sources fund the other 20 percent. Standard city buses cost $356,500.

The hybrids that Metro Transit has already been using get an average of 4.71 miles per the gallon, compared to a typical bus’s 3.86 miles per gallon. Metro Transit expects to save 338,000 gallons per year once the 172 total hybrid buses are running in five years.

The Star Tribune reports that “Metro Transit is expecting a 22 percent or greater improvement in fuel economy, which translates to 1,965 gallons of fuel per bus saved annually, along with less soot and other pollutants.� The hybrid buses reduce emissions by 90 percent.

Metro Transit first introduced three hybrid buses in 2002. From this Tuesday until the end of the year, hybrid buses will travel various routes, offering free rides. On Mondays, routes 17 and 18, which include stops in the Nicollet Mall area, will also be free.