Kingston’s first two electric buses were put into service this Thursday.
Mayor Bryan Paterson was joined by Kingston and the Islands MP Mark Gerretsen, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney and Director of Transit Services Jeremy DaCosta to unveil the vehicles that will be used on both Kingston Transit’s local and Express routes.
“Being able to offer state of the art buses that look great, that work great, that can get people to where they need to go, but at the same time deals with a lower carbon footprint, I mean that’s critical,” says Mayor Paterson.
The total cost of the project is just over $2.7 million, which is split between the three branches of government and pays for two electric buses, an electric bus charger and ancillary equipment including farebox, GPS equipment and on-board cameras.
“This is an important step forward,” says Minister Mulroney. “There’s a lot more to do, but I’m very pleased to be here to support this announcement today. ”
DaCosta explains that the buses take approximately four hours to charge and can go up to 345 km in range, depending on things like air conditioning or heat taking some juice.
“We anticipate that the operating cost of this bus will be lower compared to a diesel bus. The capital costs are higher,” says DaCosta.
He also says some new features include lighter-weight seats, which help the bus cover more distance while being energy efficient.
The new buses have a touchless wheelchair securement system which allows passengers with mobility devices to easily board busses independently.
“There’s a lot of opportunity to get our economy going again, and quite frankly we’re interested in green, renewable initiatives. This being one of them,” says MP Garretsen.
The Kingston and the Islands representative says that the federal government is looking for opportunities to invest in the economy to help boost it in the wake of the pandemic.
Following their reveal, the two electric buses are now running routes alongside diesel buses as the city works towards a new, environmentally-friendly fleet in the future.