Transit lobby group says electrifying Canada’s bus fleets needs $3 billion a year

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Electric Transit Fleet

OTTAWA — A green-transit lobby group says electrifying Canada’s fleet of public transit buses will take a lot more money than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised in his big infrastructure announcement last month.

Trudeau’s, three-year, $10 billion plan set aside $1.5 billion as part of his effort to get 5,000 electric school and transit buses on the road in Canada by 2025.

Josipa Petrunic, the CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium, says in a letter to Trudeau today that’s not nearly enough and is calling on him to make good on his 2019 election promise to invest at least $3 billion more into public transit each year.

Petrunic says it will cost about $30 billion to electrify Canada’s entire fleet of transit buses, or about $10 billion to do 5,000.

Petrunic says the cost is big but the payoffs in jobs and for the environment would be almost immediate and the high-speed charging networks could also be used by electric delivery and freight vehicles in off-peak bus hours.

Canada has four companies that make electric buses and Petrunic says there are at least 20 municipal transit agencies that are ready to start buying them if they can find the money.

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