Government of Canada invests C$350 million in Ottawa’s zero-emission transit fleet

Jan. 20, 2023
The federal funding will go toward the purchase of 350 zero-emission vehicles and charging infrastructure and assist OC Transpo in meeting its goal of having a fully zero-emission fleet by 2036.

The government of Canada is providing the city of Ottawa, Ontario, with C$350 million (US$260 million) in federal funding through the Zero Emission Transit Fund. The federal funding will help the city’s transit entity, OC Transpo, purchase up to 350 zero-emission buses and supporting charging infrastructure.

The new vehicles will replace diesel-powered buses, and the city will install the required charging infrastructure, build a new vehicle storage facility, upgrade two existing ones and purchase other related infrastructure to maintain and operate the battery electric buses.

“Any investment in public transit in Ottawa is an investment in the environment. With the new funding for our zero-emissions bus program, the government of Canada is contributing to these shared and critical priorities. These new buses will help OC Transpo continue its work towards reducing greenhouse gases and convert our fleet to zero-emission electric fuel,” said Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe.

The first of four zero-emission buses entered service on OC Transpo’s network in early 2022, about six months after the Ottawa City Council approved the transit provider’s plan to procure solely zero-emission buses, with the goal of having a fully zero-emission fleet by 2036. The city of Ottawa aims to deliver a 100 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

The federal funding is in addition to a loan of up to C$380 million (US$294.71 million) from the Canada Infrastructure Bank to the city in support OC Transpo's planned procurement of 450 zero-emission buses.

The Ottawa City Council will consider the budget authority requests to begin the procurement of buses supported by the most recent federal funding and related charging infrastructure at a meeting on Jan. 25.

The government of Canada’s Zero Emission Transit Fund is part of the federal government’s C$14.9-billion (US$11.9 billion) investment in public transit and is in addition to the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s planned investment of C$1.5 billion (US$1.19 billion) in zero-emission buses through a three-year Growth Plan.

“Continued prosperity in the 21st century will depend on our ability to innovate and respond to the climate crisis. Canadian cities are rethinking their infrastructure needs to support a growing population with increasing transit needs. The government of Canada’s significant investment in the electrification of Ottawa’s bus fleet will help the city reduce street noise, pollution and energy costs while simultaneously bolstering the local economy,” said President of the Treasury Board and MP for Ottawa-Vanier Mona Fortier.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.