15 new buses to more than quadruple TransLink’s battery-electric bus fleet

TRANSLINK has awarded a contract to Nova Bus to bring 15 more battery-electric buses to its fleet. This order will more than quadruple its current battery-electric bus fleet, increasing its total from four to 19.

TransLink said that this acquisition is a critical step towards achieving its aggressive approach to its Low Carbon Fleet Strategy, which includes:

  • Reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent by 2030.
  • Fully electrifying route 100 (22nd Street / Marpole Loop).
  • Replacing all retiring conventional diesel buses with battery-electric buses.
  • Transitioning to a fleet operating entirely on renewable energy by 2050.

The 15 new battery-electric buses are expected to arrive and begin rolling into service on Route 100 in 2022. The $16 million contract is funded through the Federal Gas Tax Fund, with funding allotted through the Metro Vancouver Gas Tax Fund.

To pursue the further electrification of Metro Vancouver’s bus fleet in the coming years, TransLink has applied for funding from senior levels of government for 57 more battery-electric buses and for the supporting charging station infrastructure.

Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, said: “The Government of Canada is providing $16 million for the purchase of 15 Canadian-made battery-electric buses that will support TransLink’s first fully electric bus route. Cleaner air, quieter streets and efficient, reliable public transit using a Canadian supplier — that’s a win-win-win. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates good jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities for a net-zero emissions future.”

Harjit Sajjan, MP for Vancouver South, said: “Our investments in public transit strengthen our communities. This investment means the Route 100 bus line will become the first fully electric non-trolly bus line in the Lower Mainland. Families, workers and students from across Vancouver South will now be able to get around the community more easily, while reducing harmful emissions.”

Photo: TransLink

Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO, said: “Today’s announcement is about ensuring we continue our important transition toward a greener and more efficient transit system. Zero-emission battery-electric buses are the future of the transit industry, and this order more than quadruples our existing battery-electric bus fleet, bringing us one step closer to achieving our aggressive climate targets. TransLink already has one of the biggest electric trolleybus networks in North America, with 262 trolleybuses in service, and a SkyTrain network operating entirely on electricity. It’s exciting to be able to build on our success and move into a more sustainable era for public transit in Metro Vancouver.”

Jonathan X. Coté, Chair of the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation, said: “Transit continues to be one of the greenest ways to travel throughout Metro Vancouver and these new zero-emission buses will make it even more sustainable. The Mayors’ Council was proud to approve the Low Carbon Fleet Strategy last year to help move the region’s transit system toward meeting their climate action targets as quickly as possible, and we applaud this step toward reducing TransLink’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

Quick Facts

  • Each bus is expected to reduce 100 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and save $40,000 in fuel costs per year compared to a conventional diesel bus.
  • The buses can be charged in approximately five minutes at charging stations while picking up passengers.
  • More than half of TransLink’s fleet uses cleaner technology, including compressed natural gas, hybrid diesel-electric fuel, and fully electric vehicles.