Last week, the Toronto Transit Commission launched the first TTC electric bus on the 35 Jane route, serving the Jane and Finch community in Canada’s largest city.
According to the TTC, this is the first electric bus of 60 to hit the streets by the first quarter of 2020, making up one of the largest mini-fleets of electric buses in North America.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said “Our city is continuously looking at ways to reduce our carbon emissions, introducing electric buses to our robust fleet is one of the many ways we are advancing the TTC and demonstrating our leadership in becoming an environmentally friendly city.”
The electrification of buses is part of the City of Toronto’s TransformTO climate strategy which targets an 80 per cent reduction in local greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. According to a press release from the TTC, to meet that target, 100 per cent of vehicles in Toronto must transition to low-carbon energy by 2050.
Currently, vehicles generate about one-third of Toronto’s emissions.
“This is an example of how we are modernizing our service, innovating for the long-term and planning for climate change,” said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson. “The TTC will continue to prioritize network-wide service improvements as we work towards a 100 per cent zero emissions fleet by 2040.”
The TTC’s new eBuses operate on truly green propulsion technology with zero tailpipe emissions. In Ontario, generation of electricity for overnight charging is 100 per cent nuclear and completely free of GHG emissions.
Marco Mendicino, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities said “The new zero-emission electric buses will provide reliable service for transit users on the 35 Jane route and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Jane and Finch community for years to come.”
The bus was manufactured by New Flyer Industries Inc., and arrived in Toronto in April. Since then, it has undergone testing and commissioning as well as operator training.
The TTC is also purchasing electric buses from Proterra Inc., and BYD Canada Co. Ltd. By purchasing electric buses from these three companies, the TTC says it will be able to evaluate which of the manufacturers best meets the commission’s needs.
The Government of Canada and the City of Toronto are investing $140 million in these electric buses as part of the federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF).