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Bloomington Transit to offer free electric bus rides Tuesday

A sample of the future of public transportation is coming soon to Bloomington.

Bloomington Transit is offering free rides on an electric bus Aug. 28 to bring awareness to their desired plan to purchase an electric bus.

The rides will be offered between 12:40 and 7:30 p.m on Bloomington Transit’s Route 3. Both east and west loops on Route 3 will be covered by the electric bus on Tuesday afternoon. 

“By exploring innovative options for the most environmentally friendly and cost-efficient vehicles we can continue to provide top-notch service as part of our city’s multimodal transportation system,” Mayor John Hamilton said in a press release from Bloomington Transit.

According to the press release, the 40-passenger bus will leave the Downtown Transit Center at 12:40 p.m. for an hour-long eastbound loop of Eastland Plaza, College Mall and the Reserve on Third. At 1:40 p.m., the bus will leave the transit center for an hour-long westbound loop of Whitehall Plaza, Highland Village and Walmart. The routes will alternate every hour with the last bus ride leaving at 6:40 p.m.

Bloomington Transit's 2019 budget presentation Tuesday included a request to purchase an electric bus using federal and local funds. This proposed purchase would be part of Bloomington Transit’s evaluation of the long term economic and ecological effects of having electric vehicles in its fleet.

If the proposed purchase is approved, Bloomington Transit would save money on fuel, lessen tailpipe emissions and offer a quieter operating bus that requires less maintenance than diesel counterparts, according to the press release.

“We hope everyone hops on the electric bus for a free ride on Tuesday,” Lew May, Bloomington Transit General Manager, said. “You won’t just be taking a ride, you will glimpsing the future of mass transit.”

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