'The future of public transit': Edmonton on board to buy 40 electric buses

via CBC

Clean-running electric buses represent "the future of public transit," Mayor Don Iveson said Friday as he helped announce funding that will put 40 of the green vehicles on Edmonton's streets.

Iveson joined federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi and Alberta Transportation Minister Brian Mason at a bus garage in southwest Edmonton to announce $43 million in funding for the project.

The federal government is providing $21.5 million through its public transit infrastructure fund. The province is contributing $10.8 million through its GreenTRIP program. The city is also providing $10.8 million.

Iveson said the city will get its first five electric buses in 2019 and 35 more by 2020.

"We're ordering them now, we're just finalizing the procurement — that will be announced soon — but the funding is what made it possible for us to accelerate our electric bus purchase, and if it all goes well, I want to go much farther than 40 buses in coming years," he said.

He said he would like to see the entire fleet converted to electric within 10 or 20 years. Electric buses cost more to purchase than diesel buses but are cheaper to operate and maintain and produce fewer greenhouse-gas emissions, he added.

"The purchase of electric buses is absolutely critical to our city's accelerated leadership on energy and climate.