The Victoria Regional Transit System will be the first to receive new buses announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier John Horgan and BC Transit on Thursday.
The federal and provincial governments are each contributing $31 million, while municipal contributions bring total funds to $79 million for the purchase of 118 new buses for the province.
“Most of these are to replace buses at the end of their service lives,” said Jonathon Dyck, communications manager with BC Transit. “Thirty-five of these will be additional – or expansion buses – to meet the needs of our growing transit community.”
Trudeau announced that 10 of these buses will be electric, in an effort to eliminate greenhouse gases and to meet commuter needs.
“Those living in the fast growing western community in the area struggle with the Colwood Crawl,” Trudeau said. “Investments like this will help shorten that commute by addressing that congestion and getting everyone home a little sooner.”
All 10 of the electric buses are coming to Greater Victoria, which will require the building of the charging stations at the Victoria depot.
Twenty six of the 118 buses will run on compressed natural gas (CNG), with 21 of these running out of BC Transit’s Langford depot. Two others will go to Whistler, and three others to Central Fraser Valley.
Nineteen of the new buses will be double decker buses, and along with 63 others will run on gas or diesel.
“Our government is committed to making life more affordable for British Columbians, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and investments like this will help us do just that,” said Horgan. “Working together, we can provide transit that people need and we can put public transit on a solid road towards a truly sustainable future.”
The new buses are expected to roll out in 2020 and 2021.
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