Metro Transit unveils all-electric bus, announces start date for C Line

Along one of the Twin Cities’ most heavily used bus routes, improvements are quickly coming down the road.

“I’m thrilled to announce that the C-Line will be opening for service on June 8,” said Nora Slawik, Met Council chair.

Metro Transit says its newest bus rapid transit line is an important link between Brooklyn Center and downtown Minneapolis.

When the new C-Line opens, it will essentially replace Route 19 along Penn Avenue.  The whole concept of bus rapid transit is to provide faster service and better buses.

The first of those buses rolled out of the garage Thursday. It’s a new, all-electric bus built by New Flier in St. Cloud. Metro Transit Manager of Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Katie Roth says it will be one of eight electric buses designed to eliminate tailpipe emissions along the C-line corridor.

“It will also be a lot quieter for the ride and folks will notice a difference when they are on board and when waiting for the bus and for the folks that live in the community as well, they’ll notice a quieter thoroughfare,” said Roth.  

The new buses also part of Governor Tim Walz’s vision in his new budget to build ten more rapid transit lines across the Twin Cities in the next ten years.

“We in Minnesota are taking the lead in taking carbon reductions and addressing climate change at the same time we are improving people’s mobility,” said Gov. Walz.  

It aligns with Metro Transit’s vision of building more rapid transit lines, if they get the funding.

“We have a goal of bringing faster, frequent, all-day, very comfortable service and a big part of that is making sure we can do that is environmentally friendly and making it a cleaner ride,” said Roth.

Slawik says Met Council has a goal of adding more than 200 electric buses in the next 10 years.