Gov. Janet Mills and Sen. Angus King attend the ceremony unveiling Maine's first electric-powered buses that have been added to Greater Portland METRO and Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit. Credit: CBS 13/WGME

PORTLAND, Maine — Four electric buses have been added to the Greater Portland METRO and Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit. They are the first electric-powered public transit vehicles in Maine.

Officials say these new buses will reduce carbon emissions by 500 tons.

Portland Mayor Kate Synder emphasizes these buses are only a small step to Portland’s project “One Climate Future” established in 2019.

The project has the goal of reducing 80 percent of carbon emissions by 2050.

“With 54 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from the transportation sector, real progress on climate in our lifetimes will come from increasing the number of people getting around by walking, biking, and using the public transit,” Synder said.

In March, METRO had the best month in terms of ridership compared to pre-pandemic levels with 112,000 rides taken.

METRO officials say they hope these new buses will provide a quiet and pleasant ride to continue strong ridership trends.