First electric, low entrance 20-foot bus arrives in North America

June 21, 2022
The bus will be added to the Saint John Transit fleet and is manufactured by Karsan.

Saint John, New Brunswick, bus riders will see something no other transit users in North America can see later this summer: the first electric, low entrance, 20-foot transit bus to arrive on the continent. The bus is a Karsan e-JEST supplied by Damera Bus Corp.

Saint John has a goal to transition all of Saint John Transit buses to electric by 2040. Six 20-foot JEST buses will be put into service across Saint John this September as part of the city’s Transforming Transit Program. The program, first announced in 2021, will transform the municipal transit system using electric buses and an on-demand bus service expected to be launched later this year.

“With the plan in place, customers will enjoy the luxury of riding new, electric buses, and also have a highly reliable service that allows them to schedule the arrival of their bus and know when it will deliver them to their destination. It’s a big win for everyone and enhances the ease and quality of life our residents enjoy,” said Nick Cameron, chair of the Saint John Transit Commission.

The JEST city bus is a European-style, battery-powered bus with a 15-year life cycle. It is equipped with a BMW power train and a regenerative braking system that provides energy recovery by allowing itself to recharge its batteries at a rate of 25 percent.

“Damera is incredibly proud to partner with the City of Saint John and Saint John Transit to bring cleaner transit to the city and support Saint John’s transition to zero-emission transportation,” said Raj Mahadeo, CEO of Damera. “Saint John Transit is establishing itself as a public transit leader by transitioning to on-demand services with these buses. The size and quiet operation of the JEST is perfectly suited for residential areas and on-demand services. We hope this serves as inspiration for municipalities across the country aiming to do the same.”

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April 30, 2015