If you see a blue bus on University Avenue, Central Avenue/Highway 65 or 53rd Avenue, hop on. It's Metro Transit's newest hybrid electric bus, and rides are free this week.
This is how Metro Transit talks up its latest model:
Unlike other buses, even some hybrids, the Xcelsior uses super efficient All Electric components, many that eliminate power-sucking hydraulic systems. Instead, itt uses an all Electric HVAC system, electric power steering rather than hydraulic and an electric air compressor to power pneumatic accessories like doors and airbrakes.
Traveling through Fridley along Route 10U is a homecoming in a way for the blue bus, because three companies with facilities in Fridley each had a hand in building it:
- BAE Systems manufactured the bus' HybriDrive propulsion system. According to Metro Transit, "systems on these buses—including the air compressor, heating and cooling and power steering—are run directly from the hybrid’s powerful battery, resulting in additional fuel savings, reduced emissions and other benefits. The new bus model also can operate in all-electric mode, providing whisper-quiet, emission-free travel for short durations – such as on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis."
- ELO Engineering "supplied about 20 parts—mostly brackets. Used in engine, doors, floor, battery compartment," according to Metro Transit spokesperson Jon Siqveland. ELO is a supplier of parts to bus manufacturer New Flyer, with plants in St. Cloud and Crookston.
- Cummins, the company whose Power Generation division has a home in Fridley, built the bus' engine (although not in Minnesota).
You can find the blue bus on Route 10U—traveling between Northtown Transit Center and downtown Minneapolis via Fridley. The route follows:
- University Avenue NE between Northtown and 53rd Avenue NE
- 53rd Avenue NE between University Avenue NE and Highway 65/Central Avenue NE
- Highway 65/Central Avenue NE between 53rd Avenue NE and downtown Minneapolis
Click on the PDF thumbnail to read the Route 10 bus schedule online, or download the Metro Transit Route 10 online schedule.