On Thursday, January 16th, both the federal and provincial governments announced they would be contributing a combined $74.7 million towards three projects aimed at electrifying the city’s bus fleet. The remaining $104 million to fund these initiatives will be done through the City of Guelph Capital Budget.
With this funding, the city is planning to replace 35 of its diesel-powered buses with electric ones. They will also purchase another 30 electric buses over eight years to help expand the transit service, and build a bus storage facility that will include charging stations for all of these new vehicles.
The Transit Action Alliance of Guelph (TAAG) is happy to see this investment and support these projects. “Electric Buses will help Guelph meet its targets on becoming a net zero carbon community.” says Steven Petric, President/Chair of TAAG. “As Guelph Transit transitions to an all-electric bus fleet, the potential to reduce GHG emissions will be even greater by 2040. It is now more important than ever that we develop a bold ridership growth strategy.”
According to the Mayor, our advocacy actions have helped Guelph Transit in this regard.
However, we still feel there hasn’t been significant improvements or changes made. There still isn’t a public plan that outlines which areas of the city all of these new buses will be serving.
Transit must be better integrated into the urban fabric and near the places we need to go. We haven’t seen much on that, especially as Guelph grows and more developments are built that are not transit oriented.
Fighting climate change means making it easier to live low-carbon lifestyles. One way to do that is with a frequent service network that makes it convenient to do all trips by bus. That’s why we need a frequent service network!
When you rely on transit to get to daycares, schools, and grocery stores, you need service that travels throughout the city and arrives often, service with easy transfers, that stops near where you’re going and is affordable. Frequent transit that brings freedom.
A 10-min frequent service network would mean you know the LONGEST you have to wait for a bus is 10 min at any given time (and often much less!). Frequent, reliable service is essential especially in our climate.
Yes, better transit does take time, but we have had no public transit plan now for almost a decade and citizens are demanding better from their leaders. We’ve met with the decision-makers, we’ve fought for a plan, and we’ve mobilized lots of citizens, but we need you too.
Join TAAG and help in our efforts to get Guelph Transit to be open about its plans and to help create a transit system that is more frequent, affordable and accessible. We would love to have you on board! (pun intended) Check out this link to learn about joining our all-volunteer grassroots group taaguelph.com/about
Full Coverage of the new electric buses can be found below:
City to spend more than $100 million to electrify bus fleet with some help from province, feds via GuelphToday.com
Mayor explains $100 million price tag for electric bus upgrade via GuelphToday.com
Guelph receives $74.7M from feds, province to electrify buses via Guelph Mercury Tribune