This new service for MTS will feature 12 60-foot electric buses, the first articulated electric vehicles in the MTS fleet. To celebrate the launch of the new service, Rapid 227 will be free to ride through Halloween.
“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, chair of MTS and a San Diego City Councilman. “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,” he said.
According to an agency statement, thousands of daily pedestrians crossing from the Otay Mesa Port of Entry will be able to walk directly to the Otay Mesa Transit Center and travel to Imperial Beach on Rapid 227 in 40 minutes or less. The route will feature just 10 stops, and will offer a connection from the border to the UC San Diego Blue Line via the Iris Avenue
Transit Center in 15 minutes. Service will run every 15 minutes or better throughout most of the day, MTS officials said.
Rapid 227 is a milestone in MTS’ effort to transition to an all zero- emissions bus fleet in 2040. The electric bus 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.”
The Rapid 227 project is expected to be fully completed by 2024 and will feature new stations and amenities, a traffic signal at Coronado Avenue and 30th Street, and further improvements at the Iris Avenue Transit Center.