Photo of electric bus courtesy Minnesota House of Representatives

New Ulm is one of five Minnesota communities that will soon receive grant funds for electric transit buses. Heartland Express / Brown County Human Services will be replacing two of its gasoline-powered buses with electric buses due to a grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The $3.4 million grant will also pay for electric buses for Owatonna, Fairmont, St. Peter, and Le Sueur.

The six buses being replaced travel approximately 173,300 miles, and consume 30,500 gallons of fuel, each year.

The grant funding also covers charging equipment, tools, related infrastructure, training and administrative support. Agencies receiving a second bus are responsible for the local match for the second vehicle ($45,402 each).

MnDOT oversees public transit grant programs for Greater Minnesota, including bus replacements. Rural transit systems partnered with MnDOT to submit the application for the competitive funds.

Planning for the projects will start later this year. Infrastructure for the buses should be in place by September 2024, with buses on the road by September 2025.