Saskatoon exploring electric transit bus pilot project

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon exploring electric transit bus pilot project' Saskatoon exploring electric transit bus pilot project
WATCH ABOVE: The City of Saskatoon is looking to start an electric bus pilot project – Jun 11, 2019

The City of Saskatoon is looking to start an electric bus pilot program.

It released a tender asking for companies to organize a proposal to lease the city an electric bus for a year.

READ MORE: All Saskatoon Transit buses now fully accessible for those with reduced mobility

“It would be absolutely wonderful if this turned out to be a viable option for our transit service,” Ward 7 Coun. Mairin Loewen said on Tuesday.

The tender request is asking for a 40-foot bus and charger that could be used for daily service.

The city wants the bus to have a minimum 350-kilometre range, with a full charge that would take no more than three hours.

Story continues below advertisement

SaskEV is pleased the city is taking steps to reduce carbon emissions, but thinks this step could’ve been taken sooner.

“I think as far as doing a trial, we’re maybe a little bit behind. I mean, we’ve seen the City of Winnipeg, they’ve been doing a trial for the past number of years with electric buses there as far as finding the right routes (and) finding the right way to integrate charging,” SaskEV lead organizer Jason Cruickshank said.

WATCH: Global Saskatoon’s coverage of Bus Rapid Transit lines

The city currently has 145 convention transit buses in its fleet.

Four of those are diesel hybrids and are at least 11 years old.

The city also has 27 units available for Access Transit which run on gasoline or diesel.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Saskatoon Transit ridership rises by 8.4% in 2018

The city used electric trolley buses between 1948 and 1974 before switching to diesel buses.

Loewen said the city has a chance to make its transit system greener and reduce its corporate emissions.

“The notion of exploring electrification of our fleet and of our transit fleet I think is a symbol of shifting priorities and ensuring that the city becomes an environmental leader in the community,” she added.

The tender closes on June 28.

Sponsored content