Canada Infrastructure Bank to send Durham Transit up to $68 million for zero emissions buses from Oshawa to Pickering

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Published June 13, 2022 at 1:02 pm

The Canada Infrastructure Bank will send Durham Region Transit up to nearly $70 million for electric buses.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) will send Durham Region Transit up to $68 million to fund up to 100 zero-emissions buses to run throughout the Region.

The CIB is a Federal Crown corporation launched by the Trudeau Government in 2017 to channel funds toward local infrastructure projects. Via pubic-private funding partnerships the CIB is mandated to support public transit, trade and transportation, and green infrastructure.

The projects are meant to be funded by private capital first. Then as the public pays the investment off they use the project. In total the CIB has launched 36 such projects, costing around $20.5 billion.

The bank will send $5 billion to such transit projects in the coming years.

The 36 projects range from hospital refits, Ontario rural broadband, toll bridges, rail bridges and the GO train expansion. However, in the five years since the CIB’s establishment not one of these projects has been completed.

Durham Region joined the list of projects on June 9 with a joint announcement from the Region, DRT and CIB. The parties aim to buy the 100 zero-emission-bus fleet by 2027.

At this point riders will pay off the project as operating cost of electric buses is expected to be considerably lower than operation of DRT’s currently diesel fuelled buses.

Diesel prices have skyrocketed over the last six months. In February it ran on average about $1.65 per litre across Ontario. As of May 2 prices has risen nearly a dollar to $2.49 per litre.

“A high priority in DRT’s E-Mission Zero strategy, battery electric buses can improve the quality of life for Durham Region residents who will benefit from cleaner commuting options,” read the release. “The electrification of transit vehicles is a key milestone needed to meet the Region’s climate change commitments over the next 25 years.”

Not only with the transition to electric save money, it will also save the atmosphere from around 8,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

According to the University of Calgary, “Reducing GHG emissions by 8,000 tonnes is the equivalent of taking 1,700 passenger vehicles off the road, or comparable to the carbon intake of 38 square kilometres of forest.”

“I am pleased the CIB is making this important investment to support Durham Region’s expansion of zero-emission buses. Our partnership will help the Region provide cleaner public transportation for future generations,” said Ehren Cory the President and CEO of Canada Infrastructure Bank

Durham Regional Chair John Henry agreed saying “DRT’s commitment to reducing energy use, costs and greenhouse gas emissions with the electrification of transit vehicles will create a cleaner, low-carbon future.”

 

 

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