City of Barrie investing $3.3 M into electric bus pilot project

A Barrie Transit bus at the Downtown Barrie Terminal. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

To help reduce emissions, the City of Barrie is investing $3.3 million into a battery-electric bus pilot program.

Funding for the project is a joint effort between the city and the federal government.

“The City of Barrie is committed to reducing Barrie’s corporate emissions to net-zero by the year 2050. This investment from the federal government will help us move closer to that goal by enabling us to move quicker towards a greener transit system for our community,” said Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall.

The money will support the purchase of two battery-electric buses and the necessary charging infrastructure.

Barrie Transit will study its operation to gather data on future electricity demand and infrastructure requirements. This will ultimately inform the City of Barrie’s plans for the full electrification of its transit fleet.

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Tony Van Bynen, member of Parliament for Newmarket-Aurora, made the announcement Friday on behalf of Dominic LeBlanc, minister of intergovernmental affairs, infrastructure and communities.

“To reach our emissions reduction target of net zero by 2050, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. Our investment in Barrie’s battery-electric bus pilot program marks the first step in the city’s transition to a fully electric public transit fleet,” said Van Bynen said.

The government of Canada is contributing $1.65 million to this project through the Zero Emissions Transit Fund.

The $2.75-billion Zero Emission Transit Fund is now accepting applications under the planning and capital streams.

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