Metrolinx is working with 10 transit agencies to take a big step towards electrifying Ontario’s bus fleets. The joint purchasing contract for 12-meter (40-foot) battery-electric buses (BEB) was recently awarded to New Flyer through Metrolinx’s Transit Procurement Initiative.
The agencies involved (Barrie, Belleville, Brantford, Kingston, Leamington, Milton, Sault Ste Marie, Stratford, Sudbury, Thunder Bay) expect to have 40 new 12-meter (40-foot) BEBs ordered during the next 24 months. Metrolinx is supporting smaller transit agencies through the bulk buy – who wouldn’t achieve the economies of scale benefits on their own.
“Our ability to participate in joint procurement programs such as the 12-meter (0.007-mile) battery electric bus procurement, ensures the city is able to purchase high quality products while maximizing savings for taxpayers,” said Brendan Adair, city of Greater Sudbury director of transit services.
On top of the joint bus procurement, Metrolinx is also coordinating the release of a joint procurement for charging systems for the vehicles.
“We will leverage the TPI program for both our 12-meter (40-foot) electric bus purchases and the associated charging infrastructure, enabling us to focus on the planning, delivering, training and implementation of the city’s zero-emission fleet strategies and corresponding Climate Leadership plans,” said Brent Fowler, city of Kingston director of corporate asset management and fleet.
Part of a bigger electric plan
In 2021, Metrolinx began researching the shift towards electrifying transit vehicles and working with local transit agencies to buy electric buses.
The long-term goal is to have an active electric bus contract for every standard size of transit bus (from small six-meter (20-foot) buses to full sized 12-meter (40-foot) buses).
The BEBs are part of Metrolinx’s work to champion innovative, eco-friendly solutions that reduce the region’s environmental impact, lower greenhouse gas emissions and expand sustainable travel options.