Get ready to see some shiny, new mass transit wheels in the not-too-distant future in Rochester, thanks to a new $3 million federal grant.

As Rochester continues to move forward with the Destination Medical Center initiative, public mass transit becomes a bigger and bigger piece of the transportation puzzle. City and community leaders have all stressed that adding more cars downtown isn't a viable alternative as Mayo Clinic continues to grow-- once the downtown due to the coronavirus is over, that is.

And while buses and shuttles are already in use, few of us are fans of all those old-school diesel-powered buses belching their exhaust fumes, either. Which is why it was good news Wednesday when the city of Rochester announced they'd been award an over $3 million dollar grant to buy a few new-fangled, battery-powered electric buses.

Specifically, the city says it's getting "$3,156,746 in funds as part of the Low- or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant program from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The project includes two 60-foot, battery-electric buses at a cost of $1.25 million each and one electric vehicle charging station at a cost of $1.1 million," according to a release on the city's website.

I can't say I've ever looked at the window sticker on a 60-foot bus, but that $1.1 million price tag must give you a pretty good case of sticker shock! So it's good to hear the feds are picking up the tab for a few of them this time.

And shout-out to the city for applying to the program earlier this spring, too. Now, just make sure the new buses are plugged into the charging station before you leave for the night, okay? We don't have to have the battery run out while the bus is making its way down 2nd Street. ;)

Listen to Curt St. John mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5
and afternoons from 2 to 6 p.m. on 103.9 The Doc

Enter your number to get our mobile branded app