As the TTC continues to work towards a completely zero-emissions fleet by 2040, it is pleased to bring two key updates to its Board meeting on April 14. The first report, which discusses the preliminary results of TTC's eBus head-to-head evaluation, will advise next steps for bus procurement. The second focuses on a tripartite Framework for Agreement with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Toronto Hydro-Electric Services Limited (THESL) for implementation of the eBus electrification infrastructure required to support the TTC's Green Fleet Program.
"Our TTC has been a leader when it comes to creating an environmentally friendly bus fleet and transit system. Moving to greenlight the purchase of 300 more eBuses will ensure that we continue to expand our green fleet," said Mayor John Tory. "The introduction of eBuses in our transit system has helped us move forward with our climate change goals and our plan to reduce our carbon emissions in the city. We know we need to do more work on this quickly. The discussions at the next board meeting are a demonstration of the commitment the TTC has to becoming greener and cleaner and the continued work that is being done to build up and modernize our transit system across Toronto."
Vehicle electrification is a key component of the City of Toronto's TransformTO Climate Action Plan, which targets an 80-per-cent reduction in local greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The transition of TTC's bus fleet to a 100% zero-emissions propulsion technology, will significantly advance the City's innovation and sustainability objectives.
"Through the expansion of our eBus fleet and the implementation of supportive electric vehicle infrastructure, the TTC continues to be an industry leader in transit electrification," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson. "Once finalized, the landmark tripartite agreement framework with Ontario Power Generation and Toronto Hydro-Electric Services Limited will deliver the infrastructure required to support our growing eBus fleet. Adopting green transit technology is a critical step toward achieving the City of Toronto's goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050."
"I am so proud of the continued innovation by our team as we work towards a greener, more sustainable future," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "As one of North America's largest transit organizations, we are pleased to lead the charge towards full-electrification and help pave the way for other cities and agencies to adopt or advance their green bus programs."
The TTC is currently operating 60 battery-electric buses, the largest zero-emissions fleet in North America, made by three different manufacturers: BYD Canada Co. Ltd., New Flyer Industries Inc. and Proterra Inc. All three have been part of TTC's innovative ongoing head-to-head evaluation to better understand the inner workings of the new technology, ensure reliable service for customers, and inform future procurements and long term investment.
Metrics used to assess the vehicles and charging systems are grouped as follows:
- Customer experience
- Operator and maintainer experience
- Vendor performance
- Charging system performance
- Vehicle performance
- Total lifecycle cost
The Board is expected to discuss the results of the evaluation and subsequently greenlight the procurement of approximately 300 long-range battery-electric buses that will be delivered between Q1 2023 and Q1 2025.
Assessments of the vehicles are expected to continue through the entire 13-year lifecycle of each bus, and the TTC is committed to working with manufacturers and transit colleagues to improve the product offerings.
In October 2020, the TTC's Board directed staff to continue working with hydro utilities, THESL and OPG, and report back with draft agreements for the delivery of the electrification infrastructure required for future bus, Wheel-Trans, and non-revenue vehicles. The report to the Board next Wednesday recommends approval of a Framework for Agreement between the three organizations that will see significant upgrades to the supply of electricity (THESL) and to electrification infrastructure on TTC property (OPG).
This partnership, between a public agency, municipally-owned company and business corporation, to deliver full fleet electrification and a greener future, is a first for all three parties. The program delivery model, in which a transit agency works with its hydro utilities to invest in, deliver, own, and operate public transit electrification infrastructure, is also an area of significant innovation where TTC is taking a lead role in advancing industry best practices.
With the Board's approval of the Framework for Agreement, the TTC would formalize the proposed roles and responsibilities by entering into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with OPG and THESL. The next step would be to undertake commercial negotiations and finalize agreements to move ahead with designing and later building, operating and maintaining all electrification infrastructure required to implement the TTC's Green Fleet Program.
The electrification of TTC's buses demonstrates a strength of commitment made by the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario, and the Government of Canada. The TTC's eBuses are critical to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and improving local air quality for the people of Toronto.