MTS Celebrates Launch of Region’s First Electric Rapid Service

The Rapid 227 will run from Otay Mesa to Imperial Beach, and is expected to have 5,000 daily users

Download B-roll & Photos from the Rapid 227 Launch Ceremony.

San Diego – For the first time in agency history, the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) will launch an electric Rapid service. Set to launch Sunday, October 15, Rapid 227 will serve the communities of Otay Mesa, Nestor and Imperial Beach. This new service for MTS will feature 12 60-foot electric buses, the first articulated electric vehicles in MTS’ fleet. To celebrate the launch of the new service, Rapid 227 will be free to ride from Sunday, October 15 through Tuesday, October 31.

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 limited stops (10), and will offer a connection from the border to the UC San Diego Blue Line via the Iris Avenue Transit Center in just 15 minutes. Service will run every 15 minutes or better 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, Chair of MTS 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 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. 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 transit agency to build this type of charging infrastructure in North America.

The complete Rapid 227 project is expected to be fully completed by 2024, and will feature new stations and amenities, a traffic signal at Coronado Avenue/30th Street, and further improvements at Iris Avenue Transit Center.

For further information on the  Rapid 227  project please visit

About MTS

The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) operates more than 100 bus routes and three Trolley lines in 10 cities and unincorporated areas of San Diego. MTS is a leader in advancing initiatives to create a greener, cleaner and better-connected transit system in San Diego County. Each weekday more than 220,000 passenger trips are taken throughout the MTS system taking people to work, school, health appointments and other essential trips. In FY 2022, MTS served more than 57 million transit trips. For service schedule updates, news, alerts and more information on how you can use public transportation, go to .


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