A Halifax Transit bus
A Halifax Transit bus. Photo credit: Halifax Transit Photography on Instagram

Halifax commuters will soon be taking cleaner, quieter rides as the city takes a major step forward on its plan to buy 210 electric buses by 2028

Halifax Transit will add 60 electric buses to its transit fleet, thanks to a new funding commitment from all levels of government.

Announced on July 15, Halifax Transit is receiving a combined $112 million for the buses, the first in Atlantic Canada, and to help expand and retrofit the Ragged Lake Transit Centre. The retrofit includes the addition of solar panels and will make the transit centre a net-zero facility.

This initiative mirrors another recent announcement by the transit authority to add an electric ferry and build two net-zero terminals to accompany it.

“The electrification of the Halifax Transit fleet is vital to our commitments to climate action,” said Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Mike Savage in a press release. “Today’s investment brings us much closer to the modernization of a public transit service that will reliably and sustainably meet the needs of a growing community and make taking transit a better choice for more people.”

Specifically, the Government of Canada is investing $44.8 million through the Public Transit Infrastructure portion of the Investing in Canada program. The Nova Scotia government is contributing about $37.7 million and the HRM is investing $29.8 million.

“The forefront of transit electrification”

According to the press release, the project will align with the HRM’s Transforming Transit strategy. The project aims to make transit more accessible and environmentally friendly, in addition to helping the municipality, province and country meet climate goals.

“We continue to aggressively pursue action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Expanding Halifax Transit’s fleet to include new electric buses will not only improve the capacity of public transit, but it will help us achieve our ambitious climate change goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Premier Iain Rankin in the release.

“It puts us at the forefront of transit electrification in Atlantic Canada.”

Construction is set to begin at the transit centre next year, with 37 buses currently on their way and seven more set to arrive in 2022. Although Halifax Transit hasn’t said when the rest will arrive, Halifax regional council last year approved a plan to buy 210 electric buses in order to electrify more than half of its fleet by 2028.