Metro Transit to receive $17.5 million federal grant for electric buses

Millions of dollars in federal grant money are being given to public transportation systems across Minnesota.

According to the state’s Department of Transportation (MnDOT), the agency, Metro Transit, White Earth Public Transit and the city of Rochester will receive a total of around $27 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration.

Metro Transit will receive the majority of the grant funds awarded in the state, receiving $17.5 million in order to buy battery-electric buses, chargers and bus equipment in order to replace the diesel buses. The money will also be used to fund workforce development, according to MnDOT.

Meanwhile, MnDOT has been awarded $1.5 million to buy propane-fueled buses and the equipment needed to fuel the buses.

The city of Rochester will receive $7.4 million in order to build a park-and-ride lot outside of the downtown area.

The last of the funds — just over $723,000 — will head to White Earth Public Transit to be used for purchasing low-emission buses with electronic farebox systems.