New electric buses officially debut in La Crosse

La Crosse electric buses
La Crosse electric buses(WEAU)
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 4:47 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - La Crosse’s Municipal Transit Utility (MTU) is making some electrifying additions to its fleet.

The City of La Crosse has been trying to integrate electric buses into the MTU for the past five years, and in just five days, those buses will finally be hitting the road.

“The process was long, but part of that was because we wanted to make sure we rolled this out right,” MTU Director Adam Lorentz said. “We obviously faced challenges with some shortage with the global pandemic, but we really wanted to make sure that we built this project right for right now, but also for growth in the future.”

Lorentz says the buses will not only offer a smoother and quieter ride for passengers, but their upkeep will be cheaper.

“Obviously, these are a new product so we haven’t had the test of time to go through this, but you look at the simple things when it comes down to fuel cost savings, oil savings, and also just the overall maintenance of these buses should reduce the cost,” Lorentz detailed.

Mayor Mitch Reynolds adds the new buses will also help improve the city’s environment.

“When we look at these buses as an investment in our community, it’s not just the sustainability and resiliency piece, it’s also the community health piece,” Reynolds said. “Obviously, there’s no emissions with these electric buses as they’re driving down the street, so I think the community is really excited about that health aspect.”

Even though the buses aren’t officially in use just yet, Lorentz says the City is planning to add more in the near future.

“We still have clean diesel buses, we still have hybrid buses coming next year, but the goal is we have three buses that will be turned over in about two years, and the goal is to replace those with electric buses,” Lorentz explained.

The electric buses will begin running regular routes throughout La Crosse on Monday.

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