Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Battery-electric and double decker buses coming to a transit route near you

Every year, the federal government distributes around 2 billion dollars to municipalities throughout Canada. This program is called the Federal Gas Tax Fund, and can be used for a broad range of infrastructure projects. In Metro Vancouver, municipalities decided that 95% of the fund be dedicated for public transit projects. This funding is used almost exclusively to purchase new buses for TransLink.

Every year, TransLink submits a list of projects to the Metro Vancouver Regional District Board for approval. This year TransLink is looking to purchase the following:

Project Vehicles Cost (Millions)
2020 Conventional (Double Decker) Bus Purchases for Modernization 25 double decker diesel buses $32.32
2020 Conventional 60’ Hybrid and 40’ Battery Electric Bus Purchases for Expansion 62 60‐ft hybrid buses, 6 40‐ft battery electric buses $109
2020 HandyDART Vehicle Purchases for Modernization 42 gasoline vehicles $6.45
2020 HandyDART Vehicle Purchases for Expansion 10 gasoline vehicles $1.6
2020 Community Shuttle Purchases 9 gasoline vehicles $2.22

One of the interesting purchases is for 25 double decker diesel buses which will replace the current yellow highway coaches that run on routes such as the 555 between Carvolth Exchange and Lougheed Town Centre.

TransLink is also proposing to buy 6 40-ft battery electric buses. These buses are proposed to run on the 100 between 22nd Street Station and Marpole Loop. These battery buses could use rapid-charging stations on-route. You can read more about this in a previous post that I wrote.

Map of bus route 100, Marpole Loop/22nd Street Station. Select map to enlarge.

In total, 87 vehicles will be used to expand transit service in our region, and 67 vehicles will be used to replace end-of-life buses.

Transit expansion is dependent on the region still proceeding with the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision. We will know more in the coming months about any modifications that will be made to the vision per the wishes of the new Mayors’ Council.

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