The first new buses will arrive in two to three years, dependent on federal and provincial funding
Halifax Transit is an important step closer to replacing more than half of the city’s current bus fleet with electric buses.
On May 26, Halifax regional council unanimously approved a motion that would see city’s transit service add 210 electric buses to its fleet as part of the Bus Rapid Transit Strategy. The project — which still requires funding from both the provincial and federal governments — is scheduled to be completed at a cost of $780 million by 2028.
According to Shape Your City, the Halifax Regional Municipality website that provides information and allows for community feedback on municipal projects, the transit strategy is designed to provide commuters “with fast, frequent, comfortable and high capacity bus service.” Along with electric buses, the strategy is expected to increase service timing and frequency along “key corridors” and will include three new ferry routes.
In his presentation to council, Dave Reage, director of Halifax Transit, said the first electric buses will arrive in two to three years, in step with the expansion and addition of charging stations at the service’s Ragged Lake transit centre.
When the new system is in place, Reage said each electric bus would yield $24,000 in savings per year due to reduced maintenance costs.
The biggest hurdle remaining is to secure the necessary federal and provincial funding. As part of the approved motion, Halifax chief administrative officer Jacques Dubé was tasked with submitting the transit proposal to the federal government’s Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and the Green Infrastructure Fund, among other programs. At the same time, Halifax mayor Mike Savage is to submit a request for provincial funding.