Electric buses will soon be serving the Newmarket area.

York Regional council gave the green light to purchase six forty-foot electric buses that will be part of a two-year trial.

“As part of York Region’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we are constantly implementing clean and innovative technologies to operate more efficiently,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “This initiative will help us explore alternative fuel options and contribute to our goal of producing zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2051.”

The region has partnered with the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) and Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution Ltd for the trial.

CUTRIC will manage the two-year trial.

Newmarket-Tay Power will maintain an overhead on-route bus charging station, which was a key driver in moving this pilot project forward. The utility provider is the first in Ontario to participate in an electric bus pilot project.

“We are proud to be working with our utility provider, Newmarket-Tay Power, to once again be a leader in bringing green technology to our community. This is a big step towards reducing our overall carbon footprint and creating a sustainable future,” says Newmarket Mayor Tony Van Bynen.

 The charging station will be located at the Newmarket Bus Terminal at Davis Drive and Eagle Street.

“Electrification of transit is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and utilities have a crucial role in this as the infrastructure support and electrical energy supplier in their service territories,” says Paul Ferguson, President, Newmarket-Tay Power

The new, battery-operated electric buses produce zero greenhouse gas emissions and will work towards the elimination of noise pollution and idling.

This is part of the Pan-Ontario Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial, which is a first of its kind across the globe. CUTRIC has brought together transit agencies, funding partners, research teams, technology tools, manufacturing stakeholders and multiple levels of government to design manufacture and deploy zero-emission electric buses and charging infrastructure in cities across Canada.

The buses are expected to reduce operating and maintenance costs and create employment opportunities as the buses are manufactured in Canada and the charging stations will have localized service and support teams.

The electric buses are scheduled to begin service in the Town of Newmarket in spring 2018.

York Region staff will report on the trial findings to council in fall 2018.