Guelph to add 65 electric buses to public transit fleet through $177 million investment
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Municipal Fleets
Jan 16, 2020
Luke Sarabia

The initiative to electrify the Ontario city’s bus fleet is a result of collaboration with federal and provincial governments

Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announces Guelph’s plan to add EVs to its public transit fleet.

The initiative to electrify the Ontario city’s bus fleet is a result of collaboration with federal and provincial governments

The city of Guelph, Ont., has announced plans to electrify much of its public transit bus fleet with support from the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

The electrification strategy involves replacing 35 currently operational diesel buses with EVs, as well as commissioning 30 new electric buses and installing on-route charging stations. The city of 120,000, located an hour’s drive west of Toronto, also plans to build a new bus storage facility that can store up to 200 vehicles, which would include charging stations for the electric buses.

Guelph joins Canadian cities including Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria, and Edmonton, in adding EVs to public transit fleets

“Guelph is a fast-growing region, and our government is building Ontario together with our municipal partners by investing in transit infrastructure that will keep pace and build for the future,” said Laurie Scott, minister of Infrastructure for Ontario. “These projects will protect the environment, reduce congestion, improve commutes, connect neighbourhoods and businesses, and connect people to jobs.”

Federal, provincial, and municipal funding

Guelph will invest $104 million in the fleet’s electrification, while the provincial government is providing over $33 million. 

The federal government is investing more than $40 million in the initiative. That money comes from the Investing in Canada infrastructure program, through which the government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure and more. 

“Communities across Canada need access to modern, green public transit infrastructure. It’s essential to building a healthy, sustainable future,” said Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, who appeared at a press conference in Guelph Thursday morning.

“Adding electric buses to Guelph’s growing fleet is an excellent example of how we are working with our partners to build resilient infrastructure that meets community needs and supports a low carbon future for Canadians.”

Guelph is not the first Canadian city to electrify its public transit fleet. Montreal currently has 3 electric and over 260 hybrid and buses on its streets; it is expected to add 40 new electric and over 300 new hybrids to its fleet in 2020.

The Toronto Transit Commission began rolling out both hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles last summer as part of a plan to become a fully zero-emission fleet by 2040. It has also purchased 60 all-electric buses which are set to arrive in full by the first quarter of 2020.

Other Canadian cities whose public transit fleets include BEVs or hybrids among their ranks include Vancouver, Victoria, and Edmonton.

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