Edmonton's transit fleet is about to get greener. At a press conference held this morning inside the Centennial Garage, Mayor Don Iveson was joined by Alberta Minister of Transportation Brian Mason and federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi in announcing $43 million in joint funding to purchase up to 40 new electric buses for the Edmonton Transit Service.
The federal government's Public Transit Infrastructure Fund is devoting more than $21.5 million for the project. Through GreenTRIP, the provincial government is matching the City's $10.8 million commitment.
"Today's investment is a recognition from the Government of Canada and the Province that cities play a critical role in addressing climate change," said Mayor Iveson. "The electrification of our bus fleet will allow us to accelerate our leadership on energy transition and reduce Edmonton's overall carbon footprint."
The City put out a formal request for bids on supplying electric buses to Edmonton in 2017. The Centennial Garage in southwest Edmonton is testing six electric buses. When satisfied that the vehicles meet performance standards, the ETS will add up to 40 of the buses in 2019 to its current fleet of over 900.
The addition comes with substantial environmental benefits. The City says the electric buses — equipped with air conditioning — will emit 40 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere than the efficient diesel buses in use today. The Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage, named after Edmonton's first female bus driver, is scheduled to replace the Westwood Garage in 2019 and will have the capacity to operate and maintain the first 40 electric buses.