We have an amazing opportunity to make London's bus rapid transit system the best possible BRT. We can become the first city in North America to electrify a bus rapid transit network from the very first day of operation.
By using electric buses, we can lower energy costs, reduce emissions and make our air cleaner. That benefits all Londoners.
And for transit riders, the smooth acceleration of an electric bus, along with the quiet operation of an electric motor, will make the ride much more like a light rail vehicle than a diesel bus. That improvement in the quality of transit service will help us achieve our ridership targets.
With an electric bus fleet operating in dedicated rapid transit lanes, we can combine the low capital costs of buses with the lower operational costs and environmental benefits of electric power.
Sign the Petition
If you would like to see City Council electrify BRT, please add your name to this petition. Spread the word on social media and in conversation with friends, family and colleagues.
Key Benefits of Electrifying BRT
On 5 July 2018, the rapid transit implementation working group heard a presentation from Dr Josipa Petrunic, executive director of CUTRIC, the Canadian Urban Transit Research Consortium, about detailed modelling that her organization has done for the electrification of London's BRT routes.
The CUTRIC modelling shows:
- Annual energy cost savings of ~$862,564.
- Annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) of 4,823 tonnes. That's an additional 100,000+ tonnes over the planning horizon of the project!
- Buses would only need to charge between 3 and 4 minutes at the end of their routes.
- Four overhead charging stations would be needed: one each at North, East, South and West ends of the routes.
The CUTRIC modelling was done using dedicated lanes and the specific topography of the planned routes. Running electric buses in mixed traffic would reduce the annual energy cost savings and increase the amount of time needed to charge at the end-of-route. So, in addition to being less reliable for transit riders, running electric buses in mixed traffic rather than dedicated lanes would also be more expensive from an operational perspective.
In addition to these direct benefits of electrification, the reduction in diesel emissions would also improve local air quality, but this was not part of the CUTRIC modelling.
(video shows how overhead charging of a New Flyer bus works)