Metrolinx rolling out electric GO buses Monday in Oshawa, Milton and Mississauga

By

Published May 12, 2023 at 11:35 am

Monday morning commuters in Oshawa, Mississauga and Milton will have an opportunity ride the electric avenue to work on zero emission electric GO buses.

Two new electric buses – identifiable by the lightning bold on the exterior – will be in use May 15 on the 92 Oshawa-Yorkdale route and 96B Oshawa-Finch Express route, as well as the 19 Mississauga -North York route and 27 Milton-North York route, for the first time as part of the Ontario government’s plan to support electric vehicles, reduce emissions and expand green transit options across the GTA and the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

“The launch of these electric buses marks a significant milestone in our government’s plan to be a global leader in the electric vehicle revolution,” said Premier Doug Ford.at a press conference Friday in Oshawa. “We’re building a strong electric vehicle supply chain, securing game changing investments in electric vehicles and battery manufacturing, and getting more electric vehicles on the road. The future is electric and we’re leading the charge.”

Premier Doug Ford in Oshawa Friday

Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney, who was also with Ford for Thursday’s announcement in Brampton regarding infrastructure improvements to the Bramalea GO Station, said it’s “not enough” to just build a transportation network. “If we can build one that is cleaner and greener we can go a long way towards our commitment to reduce emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.”

The new buses, which can travel 225-300 kilometres without needing a charge, are powered by nine batteries and can be fully charged in three to four hours. Passengers can also expect a quieter ride and have access to USB chargers and seatbelts.

“These electric vehicle buses are an exciting new transportation option, bolstering the presence of zero-emission technology in Ontario,” Mulroney said. “We will continue to leverage clean-energy opportunities that are good for people and good for the environment.”

Mulroney also cited a $91 million investment in 2022 for installing EV chargers along Ontario’s major highways, with partners Ivy Charging Network and EnRoute, and the provincial government’s “collaboration” with Ottawa in bringing in the Volkswagen battery plant to Ontario as further planks in the electric future.

“Zero emission technology is the wave of the future and the government is at the forefront of this revolution every step of the way.”

The new electric vehicle GO buses have been in the testing phase without passengers since December 2021. As commuters travel on the new buses, the province will continue to evaluate feedback to help inform the potential future expansion of the program.

The buses cost more than double the price of conventional diesel-powered vehicles at $1.5 million each but the operating costs are about half and the hope is advances in battery technology – which “drive the price of the buses,” the assembled media was told – will eventually keep costs under control.

Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith said the electric buses represent “another step in our work to support electric vehicles, reduce emissions and expand clean, green travel options.”

Metrolinx, which hosted the event, said they support the Province’s plan in bringing more green transportation options to bus services. “Transit is by its nature is inherently more sustainable,” said Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster. “Through innovative eco-friendly solutions like electric vehicles, we will be able to further lower greenhouse gas emissions and expand sustainable travel options throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe.”

Ford ended the press conference by sampling ‘Electric Avenue,’ the 1982 pop song by Eddy Grant, and announcing it as the “new theme song for Ontario.”

Premier Doug Ford and Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney in Brampton Thursday, Photo Chris Young, Canadian Press

indurham's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising