San Diego MTS Launches Region’s First Electric Rapid Service


The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has launched its first electric Rapid BRT service, Rapid 227, to serve the communities of Otay Mesa, Nestor and Imperial Beach.

The new service uses 12 60-foot electric buses from New Flyer, the first articulated electric vehicles in the MTS fleet. The route features limited stops (10) and offers a connection from the border to the UC San Diego Blue Line via the Iris Avenue Transit Center in just 15 minutes. Service runs every 15 minutes or quicker throughout most of the day.

Rapid 227 means better bus service for South Bay and binational commuters. With the launch of Rapid 227, MTS will offer more than 600 extra hours of service between the border and Imperial Beach, when compared to existing service,” said Stephen Whitburn, MTS chair and San Diego city council member for District 3. “The route will also feature new, cleaner, quieter electric buses. Sustainable transit initiatives like Rapid 227 allow for binational riders to explore all that San Diego has to offer in a sustainable and greener method of transit.”

Rapid 227 is a major milestone in the agency’s effort to transition to an all zero-emissions bus fleet in 2040. The Rapid 227 fleet will be charged by an $8.5 million overhead gantry charging system capable of charging 24 battery-electric buses at a time, and it is expandable to add more charging capacity as MTS transitions its fleet to all electric over the coming years. Buses can be docked under the gantry in seconds and fully charged in just a few hours. This offers advantages for efficient operations for a clean energy fleet. MTS is the first public transit agency to build this type of charging infrastructure in North America.