BC Transit to spend $79 million on 118 new buses, including electric models

Jul 19 2019, 1:02 am

The provincial public transit authority announced on Thursday a $79-million investment to acquire a new fleet of 118 buses.

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BC Transit states some of the new buses will replace some existing buses currently reaching the end of their lifespan, while others will be an expansion of the overall provincial fleet, which are in use in Greater Victoria, Kelowna, and other BC communities outside of TransLink’s jurisdiction in Metro Vancouver.

At least 10 of these new buses will be long-range electric-vehicle buses for the fleet serving Greater Victoria.

Currently, BC Transit’s bus fleet size totals over 1,000 vehicles.

All of the new buses will be more efficient, designed with improved accessibility and safety features, and support BC Transit’s new NextRide real-time bus location technology and CCTV systems.

The federal government and provincial governments are each contributing about $31 million towards the order, and the municipalities are provide over $16 million.

“Many British Columbians depend on public transit to get where they need to go safely and efficiently. As communities in BC continue to grow, investments in public transit need to keep pace,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement.

“By investing in reliable, efficient public transit, we are making a real difference in the lives of British Columbians, while protecting our environment and making our communities stronger.”

As for TransLink, it is scheduled to receive over 500 new and additional buses throughout 2019. This includes 238 new buses to replace ageing fleets and 105 new buses for service expansion, as well as 88 new buses from a batch that began arriving in 2018.

Four electric-battery buses will go into service later this summer on the Route No. 100 between Marpole Loop and SkyTrain’s 29th Avenue Station for a 2.5-year-long electric vehicle pilot.