$9.5 million more needed to get 82 hybrid-electric buses on the road in Mississauga starting in 2024


Published September 19, 2023 at 5:09 pm

MiWay hybrid-electric buses in Mississauga
Mississauga's transit provider MiWay continues to turn over its fleet of buses with the addition of new hybrid-electric vehicles. (Photo: City of Mississauga)

As it turns out, buying a fleet of new hybrid-electric transit buses is a bit more expensive than initially thought.

That’s what City of Mississauga officials are finding out as transportation and works staff is asking for an additional $9.5 million in order to complete the purchase of 82 hybrid-electric buses that will be added to MiWay’s fleet starting with first deliveries in spring 2024.

MiWay, Mississauga’s public transit provider, received pre-approval earlier this year from city council for $85.2 million to allow for the purchase of the 82 60-foot vehicles to replace 40-foot diesel-powered buses in the fleet.

However, as the ensuing bid process played out, the lowest acceptable bid came in higher than initially anticipated, Mississauga’s transportation and works commissioner Geoff Wright said in a report to go to councillors at Wednesday’s (Sept. 20) meeting of general committee.

As a result, MiWay found itself in need of $94.7 million in order to move forward with the bus acquisition deal.

“Due to inflation, parts shortages, unreliable component supplier performance, microchip shortages, higher labour costs and higher financial and operating risk, a 24 per cent increase in bus
pricing has resulted compared to the last MiWay bus procurement in 2021,” Wright said in his report. “These higher bus costs are also being incurred by other transit agencies in North America, and are not unique to MiWay. The higher costs also span across all different bus suppliers and propulsion types
including diesel, hybrid, battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric.”

The 82 buses, which represent 16 per cent of MiWay’s fleet of more than 500, will replace aging 2007 to 2009 diesel buses that have surpassed their service life, MiWay officials said.

MiWay plans to keep adding hybrid-electric vehicles in the coming years until all of its diesel buses have been retired.

Officials said earlier that as the City of Mississauga implements more components of its Climate Change Action Plan, MiWay officials will also continue to explore other options for zero-emission buses such as hydrogen fuel-cell electric buses. 

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