After Edmonton transit was given the go-ahead to purchase a fleet of electric buses last fall, on Friday the city announced it will buy up to 40 of them.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson was joined by federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi and provincial Transportation Minister Brian Mason — both of whom were bus drivers with the city of Edmonton before entering politics.
The federal government has committed more than $21.5 million to the project through the public transit infrastructure fund. The provincial and municipal governments are also contributing $10.8 million each, with the province’s amount coming from the GreenTRIP program.
“Public transit infrastructure funding allows communities to build the new urban transit networks and service extensions they need to keep pace with the way Canadians live, move and work now and into the future,” Sohi said, in a statement.
The buses cost about twice that of the diesel models currently in use, but the city said they are much cheaper to run and are expected to require less maintenance.
“The electrification of our bus fleet will allow us to accelerate our leadership on energy transition and reduce Edmonton’s overall carbon footprint,” Iveson said.
After 2020, the city likely will be past the point of ever buying diesel buses again. Last year ETS general manager Eddie Robar said the city could make the switch after the southeast Edmonton Ferrier bus garage is converted to handle the buses.
“That will give us a capability, capacity of 120 vehicles. So that gives us two years of purchases where we can switch from diesel to electrics. But we have to have that facility complete before we can do that,” Robar said back in September, adding with 900 buses in Edmonton’s fleet, handling the conversion over the coming years will be an enormous task.
The city expects to receive five buses next year, with the remaining buses coming in through 2020.
With files from Karen Bartko, Global News, and Scott Johnson, 630 CHED