Editorial Archive

Office of the Chief Executive

Commission seal 9/10/20 6:00 PM

Launch of new eBus model and back-to-school safety reminders

Earlier this week (September 8), the TTC welcomed Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna, Mayor John Tory and other elected officials to Eglinton Garage to officially launch battery-electric bus #3752 into service on the 116 Morningside route.

The occasion was significant in that #3752 is the third and final model of eBus to hit the road. By the end of September, we will have a total of 60 all-electric buses in service where they will be tested in the transit industry’s first head-to-head evaluation.

Over the next two years, the head-to-head analysis will entail assessments of customer and employee satisfaction; engineering tests of both vehicles and charging system performance; and an evaluation of vendor performance.

The Government of Canada and the City of Toronto have invested $140 million in these electric buses, and to begin electrifying TTC garages under the federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

The TTC has the largest fleet of long-range battery-electric buses on the continent. The electrification of vehicles is a key component of the City’s TransformTO climate action strategy, which targets an 80-per-cent reduction in local greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Our goal is to have a 100-per-cent zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040.

As the TTC builds towards full electrification of our revenue and non-revenue fleets over the next two decades, we will be exploring potential partnership opportunities for delivery of eBus infrastructure with Toronto Hydro and Ontario Power Generation. This has the potential for Canada’s first tri-party agreement between a transit agency and its utilities to jointly implement full-fleet electrification.

Last year, TTC buses logged more than 145 million kilometres of service and carried 235 million riders. Our fleet of more than 2,100 buses now consists of clean-diesels, hybrid-electrics, battery-electrics, and conventional diesels that will be retired in 2022, making Toronto’s fleet one of the cleanest in North America.

And finally, students have started to head back to school this week with the majority set to return to class next week. The safety of our children has been top of mind for many of us for the past six months. Along with the many things we’re doing to keep everyone safe while they ride the TTC, I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone to take extra care on the roads during the next few weeks – whether you are an Operator or a general road user. Here are some helpful tips to always keep top of mind:
> Stay focused on your surroundings.
> Be mindful of pedestrians and cyclists.
> Always operate to road and weather conditions.
> Check your mirrors and blind spots.
> Stop and yield the whole roadway at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings.
> Always drive slowly and cautiously around schools.

In the meantime, stay safe and stay well.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
September 10, 2020

News Release

TTC now has the largest fleet of electric buses in North America on the road with arrival of third new electric bus model

September 8, 2020

Today, the TTC is pleased to announce that it is operating the largest fleet of electric buses in North America. The milestone comes as the TTC’s third new electric bus model is now road ready and starting to go into service.

“Public transit allows Canadians to get around in cheaper, cleaner and faster ways,” said The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Our government’s investment in the TTC’s electric bus pilot program is a sign of our commitment to made-in-Canada clean technology and an important step toward our target of 5,000 electric buses in Canada’s fleets over the next five years. Canada’s Infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country and builds stronger communities.”

“I’m proud to help launch these new electric buses and to celebrate the fact that Toronto is now officially operating the largest fleet of electric buses in North America. This fleet of 60 all-electric buses was only made possible thanks to an investment by the City of Toronto and the Government of Canada of $140 million,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “Our eBus fleet is one of the many projects that our City government has jointly funded with the federal government through the federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. I want to thank the Government of Canada for providing this funding that helps keep Toronto residents moving by investing in modernizing, expanding and upgrading our transit and transportation infrastructure. This is the right and responsible thing to do for our transit system, our city, and our environment.”

In November 2017, the TTC Board approved procurement of 30 all-electric vehicles. In June 2018, the Board approved the purchase of 30 more. The TTC acquired the 60 all-electric buses from three manufacturers: BYD Canada Co. Ltd., New Flyer Industries Inc. and Proterra Inc.

The TTC’s Arrow Road Garage was the first location to be outfitted with leading-edge charging infrastructure for its New Flyer Industries vehicles. Mount Dennis Garage followed with vehicles made by Proterra that use the same charging technology. BYD vehicles, which have now all arrived on property and are based out of the TTC’s Eglinton Bus Division, require a different type of charging infrastructure. While the other eBuses use DC or Direct Current electricity to charge, BYD vehicles use AC or Alternating Current.

The differences between all three eBus models, including the effect of how they charge on overall performance, will be put to the test as the TTC progresses with its head-to-head comparison to inform future procurements of battery-electric buses.

Approximately 35 eBuses are already in service across the city. The first BYD-manufactured eBus is being put into service on the 116 Morningside route today. The remaining 25 eBuses, currently undergoing final testing and commissioning activities, are expected to be in service by the end of September.

“Electrification is the future of public transit and I’m proud that the TTC has been established as an industry leader in this regard, as the owner of North America’s largest fleet of eBuses,” said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson. “The TTC Board wholeheartedly supports the TTC’s forward-thinking plan to achieve a zero-emissions fleet by 2040.”

“The TTC is pleased to be leading the charge on such an important project and transition for the transit industry and the city,” said TTC CEO Rick Leary. “We’re grateful for the ongoing support from our partners at the City and at Infrastructure Canada to sustain our pledge to prioritize network-wide service improvements and ensure the TTC provides the reliable service that our customers deserve.”

The electrification of vehicles is a key component of the City’s TransformTO climate action strategy, which targets an 80-per-cent reduction in local greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To meet that target, 100 per cent of vehicles in Toronto must transition to low-carbon energy by 2050. The electrification of buses, which is targeted for 2040, demonstrates the City’s commitment to lead by example. Vehicles generate about one-third of the emissions in Toronto today. The TTC’s new eBuses operate on truly green propulsion technology with zero tailpipe emissions.

The Government of Canada and the City of Toronto have invested $140 million in this project under federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF). The money is being used for these electric buses and to begin laying the infrastructure for future expansion of the TTC’s zero-emissions fleet. This fund is helping keep Torontonians moving through investments in the repair, modernization and expansion of the city’s transit and active transportation networks. In total, up to $1.8 billion is being invested in Toronto through PTIF, which was launched on Aug. 23, 2016.

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