In one week, BC Transit, Stratford and London Transit authorities announce significant zero-emission bus procurement funding
After a number of funding announcements, three transit authorities in British Columbia and Ontario will be moving ahead with their plans to explore or adopt zero-emission buses.
In the space of one week BC Transit, the City of Stratford Transit and the London Transit Commission all made announcements regarding their intentions to explore zero-emission bus procurement.
BC Transit is receiving a total of $395.5 million. The money comes from the provincial and federal governments and the transit authority itself.
The City of Stratford is receiving $120,000 in combined federal and municipal funding.
London Transit is receiving $400,000 from the Canadian government and the city.
The federal government, for its part, has committed to contributing $14.9 billion over eight years into “clean public transit.” It also is aiming to have 5,000 zero-emission buses on the roads by 2026.
Over the past several years, BC Transit has been preparing to add zero-emission buses into its province-wide fleet. It has earmarked the $395.5 million for the purchase of up to 115 battery-electric buses and 134 charging ports.
Victoria Regional Transit is already preparing for the arrival of 10 battery-electric buses (procured under a separate funding stream). The buses are expected to be on the road this year.
“BC Transit is pleased to work with our federal, provincial and local government partners to deliver environmentally sustainable modes of transportation that our transit customers can rely on,” said Erinn Pinkerton, president and CEO of BC Transit, in a press statement.
“Funding provided through the Zero Emission Transit Fund and the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program supports phase 1 of BC Transit’s plans to have our fleet fully electric by 2040.”
City of Stratford
The City of Stratford is taking its first tentative steps into public transit electrification.
The $120,000 in combined funding will go towards conducting a feasibility study. This is the first step in creating a plan for potential zero-emission vehicle procurement.
“This is exciting news for the City of Stratford as we move forward on modernizing our public transit fleet. Part of our environmental mandate is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and making the transition from diesel to electric buses will be a key initiative in achieving our goals,” said Martin Ritsma, mayor of Stratford, in press materials.
London Transit, too, is pushing ahead with plans to decarbonize its public transit fleet.
The $400,000 dollars heading for the city is to be used for planning purposes. This includes “feasibility, implementation and market studies, to support future procurement and deployment of zero-emission buses and related infrastructure by the London Transit Commission,” says the government announcement.
London is partnering with Burlington, Ont., which is also looking to transition its bus fleet to zero-emission. Both projects are occurring under the guidance of the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC).
CUTRIC is running a program called Canadian Urban Transit Zero Emission Bus (CUTZEB) Joint Procurement Initiative.
The benefit of London and Burlington partnering, says CUTRIC, is that it is easier to bulk-buy zero-emission buses and charging solutions for a better price.
“Transit agencies seeking to transition to electric fleets need more than just buses or chargers — they need turn-key solutions encompassing every aspect, from installation to maintenance. It was this notion that sparked the inception of CUTZEB,” said Josipa Petrunić, president and CEO of CUTRIC.