​Edmonton to get 40 new electric buses thanks to tri-government investment

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, Alberta Minister of Transportation Brian Mason, MLA for Edmonton-South West Thomas Dang and Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi announce new funding for electric buses in Edmonton. Image: Government of Alberta

The City of Edmonton’s bus transit fleet is about to get electric, thanks to a $43-million joint federal-provincial-municipal investment.

Ottawa will provide more than $21.5 million through the Public Infrastructure Fund, while Alberta and Edmonton will each provide more than $10.8 million, a joint statement said on Friday.

In 2017 Edmonton put out a formal request for companies to bid on supplying it with electric buses. This year the Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) will award the contract and test six electric buses, with expectations of adding up to 40 new electric buses in 2019, according to the ETS website.

ETS says it has a current fleet of over 900 vehicles.

“The addition of electric buses is exciting for a couple of reasons. From an environmental perspective, electric buses will add 40 percent fewer emissions to the atmosphere than the efficient diesel buses ETS uses now. From a comfort perspective, the electric buses will come equipped with air conditioning, which is highly requested by our customers and operators,” ETS says.

“There is no firm date as to when electric buses will become a major portion of Edmonton’s transit fleet. There are a number of factors that come into play, including availability of funding, government legislation and technological changes. A long-term strategy for electric buses will be included in the capital budget cycle for 2019-2022.”